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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "SURVEYTEAM" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 01:45:05 -0800
Subject: JOB OPENING/MYSTERY SHOPPER AVAILABLE
"we have amystery shopping assignment in your area and we would like you to participate"
secret shopper(R)is accepting application for qualified individuals tobecome mystery shoppers.
it's fun and rewarding,and you choose when and where you want shop.You are never obligated to accept an assignment.
There is no charge to become a shopper and you do not need previous experience.After you sign, you have access to trainig material via e-mail,fax or postal mail up,
Secret shopper(R)is the premier mystery shopping company,sevrvingclients across America and Canada with over 500,000 shoppers available and ready to help businessesbetter serve their customers.
Secret shopping as seen on ABC NEWS, NBC NEWS, L.A.TIMES.Stores and organizations such as The Gap, Walmart, Pizza Hut, and Bank.
Secret Shopper(R) NEVER charge fees to the shopper.
Mystery shoppers are either paid a pre-arranged fee for a particular shop, a reimbursement for a purchase or a combination of both.
Secret Shopper(R) has available for immediate assignment an inspection of the customer service of any walmart in your area.
During this shop you will visit the location and make several observations as regards the customer service.
You will be required to interact with the shop clerk.
You may conduct the shop alone or as a couple.
The assignment will pay $200.00/ Assignment
Kindly Fill Out the application form below and we will get back to you shortly with the assignment :
First Name:,Last Name:,Street:,state:,zip code:,Cell phone Number:,Home phone Number:
We await your urgent response.
Thank you for your help.
We look forward to working with you.