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:
- ",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)
- "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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447024060940 (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 (Counsellor; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dawnson James" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 17:01:42 +0100
Subject: NEW YEAR DEVELOPMENT
Congratulations!!! The Dawson Forum of England has selected your name to be one of the victims that the United Kingdom Compensation Organization has decided to compensate with the sum of: £5,000,000.00 (Five Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling). This fund is in compliance with the Lieu of the Mandated Law and Statutorily demand of the United Kingdom Allied Matters on scam victims and Reimbursement of all accumulated fund from the hands of fraud stars and Internet scammed. In the past 5 years, the African Union, United Nations, Asia Anti-Craft agent and Scandinavian Force against Internet Fraud has impounded several valued properties and Huge sum of amount accrued in Billions of divers currencies in the world. So, in the effect of this, the United Kingdom forum has decided to allot the fund into smaller sums, allocate it, and send it to all various victims. Contacting them via electronic, emails on our record list and some other means that will be nominated by the Authority in charge. All of the world citiz
Dr. Timmy Jones Collins
Counsellor For Allocation for Scam Victim Fund.
In the light of the above, you are urgently requested to provide us your full names and residential details, phone and mobile number, Full banking details, and a scan copy of your identity card, or drivers license or international passport. This is what we shall use to start the processing of your fund. The fund will be transfer to you via our new E-payment Scratch card. It is a new Scratch card formulated by the International Banking Regulatory Board Worldwide. A system by which your whole total sum will be loaded up into the scratch card, programmed by our Chinese American Automatic Electronic Banking System. The Automated Telex encoded and embedded code will be placed on the card and then the encrypted data of your banking details will be powered by the telex or swift code of your given stated banking details and then after the card has been programmed by our engineers, they will get it sent to you via your provided residential or postal address through a secured courier services , after which you will re
We solicit hard to expedite your fund transfer and to congratulate you once more, anticipating to hearing from you soon.
Dawnson Corporation Services,
Director of E-payment Agent.