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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- This email message is a company representative scam. This type of job offer scam involves the cashing of fake checks and money orders. It could expose you to losses of tens of thousands of dollars as well as to the risk of criminal prosecution and (in some cases) imprisonment.
- 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: "Mrs. Betty Gill" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 16:17:15 -0800
55 DRURY LANE
WE NEED OWNERS OF EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT ACCOUNT
I am Mr. Howard Simmons,the CEO of HOLDINGS LIMITED in the United Kingdom. We are into buying and selling of real estate and newly entered the American market.We are having problems in receiving payments from customers in the states and Canada and paying to sellers,due to complications with international tranfers/bad checks and money orders.It has been resolved that payment should now be made through a direct wire transfer into any valid "EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT",e.g Home equity line of credit,business line of credit and personal line of credit account in the United states/Canada.This way the fund would be in
cash,more secure for all,free from Government taxes and the IRS will never question any amount of money coming in or going out of the account.
Based on this,we are looking for trustworthy representatives in the United States/Canada that owns a valid "EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT" account,to aid as a link between us and our newly acquired customers.Your job is to coordinate payments from customers through your EQUITY account and help with the payment process. We offer 10% of total amount in any transaction made through you.The amount of money depends on the volume of facilities sold which ranges from $50,000.Money could be wired in installments until complete,depending on the limit of your account.It does not matter if you are owing in your account or
not.Once you receive the funds in your account,you deduct 10% from the total and have the remainder disbursed as instructed.
The transaction is legal and does not relate to money laundering.You are not to be involved in any sales. Once a deal is reached with buyers they contact you and make cash payment into your equity account.You process the payment,deduct your percentage and have the rest paid out accordingly.At the moment we have an order of 3.5million waiting to be executed.
Please,if you have any of such accounts,immediately contact me with your name,phone and contact address.
Mr. Howard Simons
NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY OUT YOUR OWN CASH IN THIS TRANSACTION.