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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
- +447031851857 (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: "Dr.Barry Cole" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 16:22:43 +0100
Subject: I didn't forget your past efforts!!
From The Desk Of,
Shipping Co Ltd.Bern Switzerland.
Gooday My Best Friend......
I didn't forget your past efforts:
It's my pleasure to reach you today, How is life and family:
It's been long I heard from you. Well, I just want to use this medium to thank you very much for your earlier assistance to help me in receiving the funds, without any positive outcome. I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from Tokyo Japan.
Everything was perfectly done because we strike a deal with one of the men accountant who works with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and he rendered a tremendous help to us. My new partner initiated this idea and everything worked out successfully. In appreciation of your earlier assistance to me in receiving the Funds.
I have decided to compensate you from my whole heart with the sum of $500.000.00 (five Hundred And Fifty Thousand US Dollars) this is from my own share, I did this simply to show you that it is good to do good things to the right people always. Presently, I am in Japan for investment project with my own share under the advice of my partner. Meanwhile, I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us somehow, I will be sending you e-mail from time to time to know if you have received your own share or not.
Now contact my personal secretary in London.
Here His Contact Address Below:
Name: Frank Jones
Please do let me know immediately if you receive it so that we can share the joy together after all the suffering at that time. In the moment, I am very busy here in Japan because of the investment projects, which the new partner and I are having at hand. So feel free to get in touch with Frank Jones, to send the money to you without any delay. Am sure he will transfer your inherited funds to you within seven (7) workings from today. I wish you all the best in life and God bless you and your beloved family.