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:
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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.
- +447024075216 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Nelson Dickson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 21:12:33 -0800
Subject: Good News for u
This to inform you that your funds of US$28.5 Million has been approved and will be deliver to you through the service of A Diplomat Attached with our Bank to deliver the cash to your given address
I am the Cash Payment Director Of GT Bank Of London and as far as you follow my directives you will never regret this transaction. Never you disclose this new arrangement to anybody till you claim this fund and also i will assist you to sure the document that can enable you to deposit the fund into your account or anybank of your chioce as soon as you receive this fund.
You are hereby advised to forward these details to this office below:
(1) Your Full Names:
(2) Your Address :
(3) Direct Telephone Number for easy access of communication.
(4) Your Occupation
(5)Send Any Of your personal id to avoid wrong delivery.
(6) A promissory note that you will pay me 30% for as a compensation after you received your fund.
The Funds will be delivering to you within a maximum of 48 hours on receiving the requested details.
The information should therefore be sent in the manner stated below: send email: firstname.lastname@example.org
so as to ensure that no mistake is made. call me on my private phone number Tel: +44 702 407 5216 as soon as you receive this message
Mr Nelson Dickson
Cash Payment Director
Gt Bank London
Tel: +44 702 407 5216