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.
- 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.
- +447031824165 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "DR. PETER McWEALTH" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2010 13:47:34 +0100
Subject: DIRECTOR: WORLD FUND DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT BUREAU.
FROM: DR. PETER McWEALTH
DIRECTOR: WORLD FUND DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT BUREAU.
This letter is from World Fund Discovery Management And Payment Bureau
newly invented by the World Financial Service Authority United States Of
This body was set up to discover an outstanding unpaid fund being owed
Governments or Individuals all over the world through Contract Payment,
Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prize Awards.
It will interest you to know that we have discovered an outstanding
unpaid/unclaimed sum of money in favor of your name and a mandate has been
given to this body, World Fund Discovery Management And Payment Bureau to
ensure that this fund gets to you without any delay.
Note that a special payment arrangement has been made to deliver this fund
to you through diplomatic means of payment or Alternatively come in person
to any of our payment Offices in Europe or Asia.
You are hereby advised to urgently furnish this office with your detailed
information to enable us open up communication with you regarding the
release of your fund immediately.You are advised reply to this email address: email@example.com
The information required from you to enable us process your payment are as
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Phone, Fax and Cell Phone:
(4) Profession, Age and Marital Status:
(5) Company/Business Name:
(6) Your Private Email address:
You are advised to contact us immediately with the above requested
information for further details.
Director: World Fund Discovery Management And Payment Bureau.
Direct Tel:+44 703 182 4165