fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Cynthia Steele" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 05:42:02 -0500
Subject: Scam Victims............( Contact Mr. Michael Bolts )
I am Mrs. Cynthia Steele, I am a US citizen, 48 years Old. I reside here in NW Washington. My residential address is as follows. 320 First Street, NW Washington, District of Columbia 20534 USA. United States Of America, am thinking of relocating since I got my compensation fund. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $20,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail.
It was while I was trying to get loan to pay a fresh bill given to me by the officials, that I met a top Nigerian government official and after I have explained my frustration to her, she advised me to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents. So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, And I was directed to meet Mr. Michael Bolts, who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake.
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $1,500,000.00.
Moreover, Mr. Michael Bolts, showed me a comprehensive list of other beneficiaries whose payment are still lying in his office waiting to be claimed but who might be ignorant of where to receive their payment. That was how I saw your email address and thought that it will be good to email you and tell you of my experiences and how I was able to receive my fund. I advice you to contact Mr. Michael Bolts.
Unlike me, you don't need to travel to Nigeria before you can receive your payment since you have known the right source. All you need to do is to contact Mr. Michael Bolts and tell him that you are a friend to Mrs. Cynthia Steele whom he helped to receive her Compensation fund and she directed you to contact him so that he can help you to receive your fund just as he had helped me.
You have to contact him directly on this information below.
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name : Mr Michael Bolts
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.
The only money I paid after I met Mr. Michael Bolts was just $400 for the paper works, take note of that.
Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Mr. Michael Bolts so that he can help you to Deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Cynthia Steele.
320 First Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20534 USA.
United States Of America