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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Life Bouy Law Firms" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 01:23:37 +0800
Subject: RE:THE REWARDS OF YOUR HONESTY !
Life Bouy Law Firms
Ecowas, Repblic of Benin .
I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting that fund. Now,
I want you to contact my Financial Adviser on this information below:
Name:- Rev. James Browee and ask him to send to you the total sum of
($2.8 Million) US Dollars in a Bank Draft from NATWEST BANK London, which
I kept for your compensation.
You are advised to contact him immediately on his e-mail:
( email@example.com ) Tel: +229-9837-1980 and send him the below
information to enable him deliver your Bank Draft to you.
1.YOUR FULL NAME:===========
Please do not send him any money for the postage cost untill he send you a
scanned copy of the bank draft.
Barr.Demou Bouy Llb Hons.
Life Bouy Law Firms