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)
- "i will like you to " (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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- 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: "Mr.Larry Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 19:52:47 +0400
Subject: YOUR REPLY MEANS A LOT
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known.
But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of my bank to someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great Venture.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed at the course of the transaction, I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $900,000.00 I have authorized Mrs. Tina Pratt where I deposited the money to help you for the processing of transfer the fund into your bank account.
I will advice you to contact her for more details on the processing of your claims. Make sure that you forward all your banking details to her please do not make any mistakes with your banking information for the wrong transfer of your fund.
The name and contact address is as follows.
Name: Mrs. Tina Pratt
Cell Phone: +234-805-301-7182
Contact Mrs. Tina Pratt. At the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand In united state. Finally remember that I have forwarded instruction immediately you to contact her. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon.
N;B So sorry for have contacted you for so long it was due to the fact that I was responding to medical treatment I went for surgery and ever since I came back I couldn't locate you until I finally made it. That was why I am contacting you back to inform you that I finally made it as a result of this I had to
Compensate you with this offer.