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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr James Brusse" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 09:56:02 -0500
I could not contact you earlier before now due to my tight schedules. I am
very happy to inform you about my success in getting that money under the
co-operation of a new partner from Paraguay Presently I'm in Paraguay with
the partner for some projects with the money.
Meanwhile,I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in
that process despite that it failed us at that time. due to no trust.
Now,I want you to contact my secretary,her name is Miss Tracy Wolven and
her email address is (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Arrange with her how the total sum of ( $5,000,000 ) will reach you safely
which I have already kept for your compensation for all the past efforts
and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at
that time very much.
So feel free to get in touch with my secretary Miss Tracy Wolven and
discuss with her on how the amount will reach you. Please do let me know
immediately you contact her to receive it so that we can share the joy
after all the sufferness at that time. As at the moment,I am very busy
here because of the projects which I and the new partner are have at hand.
Finally,remember that I had forwarded instruction to my secretary on your
behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with her and
she will send the amount to you without any delay.
Mr James Brusse