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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Robert Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 21:55:30 -0800 (PST)
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE PLEASE HELP ME
know this letter may meet your interest in a surprise way, as we have never met
before. I want to transfer the sum of $24.2M for investment purpose in your
country. I am imposing this fund in your interest for a lucrative and
profitable business for the benefit of both of us.
you may know, I am the Account Manager of our Bank branch and I discovered this
fund deposited in a suspense account for the past 25yrs without any withdraw or
claim and I decided to contact you for assistance.
if you are interested, endeavor to contact me for more details and explanation.
+234 802 507 6550