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:
- 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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- 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.
- +447045769539 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448704796992 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "JRF CUSTOMER SERVICE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 23:12:57 -0800
Subject: RE: UNCLAIMED PAYMENT APPROVED..........
The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd.,
The Garden House,
York, YO30 6WQ.
We write to notify you that your name was among the beneficiaries whose
name appears in our payment list as approved by UK Commission on Asset
and Capital. An estimated 400M Four Hundred Million Pounds Sterling is
thought to be lying unclaimed in various bank accounts in UK that belong
to oversea beneficiaries. view the link below:
To enable us proceed with your payment evaluation you have to Contact
Rev. Jim Minton with this Payment Code (JFR-PAYMENT/UK/ST-90801) for
immediate processing of your payment transfer.
NAME: REV. JIM MINTON (PAYMENT APPROVED DIRECTOR)
EMAIL: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
TEL: +44 70457 69539 Fax: +44 870 479 6992
Ms. Melissa Milner