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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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.
- +447024038493 (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Kelvin Brown" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 10:27:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: DEAR RECOMFIRM YOUR INFO TO PASTOR JERRY FOR YOU MASTER CARD
Lloyds TSB Group plc
25 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7HN
Tel: +44 7024038493
How are you my good friend? Hope all is well with you and your family. I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from London who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion.
I thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you.But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of my bank to my new partner's account in London who was capable of assisting me in this great venture.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed during the course of the transaction.I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $800,000.00 I have left a Certified International MASTERCARD for you worth of $800,000.00 cash-able any automatic teller machine in your country.Now contact my Pastor who is presently in Benin.
Pastor Jerry Vincent
CODE OF MASTERCARD OWNERSHIP DETAILS
Issued By: Dr.Kelvin Brown
Type : Master-card
Master-card Number: 5359 2029 1225 3729
Amount : $800,000.00
Ask him to send you the total $800,000.00 which I kept for your Compensation for using your personal data to secure the necessary approvals and your attempts to assist me in this Matter. Therefore, you should send him telephone number inclusive of your current mailing address where you want him to send the MASTERCARD to you.
Thank you and God bless.
Dr. Kelvin Brown.