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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- 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: "Barr.Charles Ogan." <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 03:57:18 -0800 (PST)
Subject: A Gift from your friend Engr. Molo BillDouglas.
A THANK YOU MESSAGE AND A GIFT FROM YOUR FRIEND.
My boss directed me to send you this "THANKS YOU" message and an Approved Bank Draft of $1 million dollar as a Gift for all your kindness and assistance to him during the period he was struggling to get that Fund transferred. I hope you are aware of it because he told me he has earlier sent you a number of emails concerning the Gift but was in doubt whether you receive any of them without any reply to him that why he now asked me to send you this massage again.
Meanwhile, he has just traveled to Mozambique with his wife for an urgent business engagement and will stay for five months to enable him finalize all important issues between him and Chiefs of the Local Communities of Mozambique regarding his investment project there.
He expresses his deep gratitude to you for all your kindness and assistance to him especially the huge money you spend while attempting to help him obtain the necessary certificates and documents needed for the transfer of the fund ($27 million) from the Platinum Habib Bank PLC Account to his personal account here and has decided to offer you the $1 million as a compensation. He regrets his inability to inform you about his trip but promise to get in touch with you whenever he returns.
However, you should understand that I will not have to transfer the money direct to your Bank Account rather, you have to pay-in the Draft to your Bank once you get it and your account Officer will admit the confirmation of the fund into your account within two Banking working days and you will start to make with withdrawal. Meanwhile, you have to send me your contact mailing address/information where i should direct the Bank Draft to you.
I will send the Draft through any of fastest and reliable courier service to make sure it is delivered to your door step in three days time for sure.
Finally, I remain sorry for my delay in contacting you. I mistakenly misplaced your contact email address which my boss gave to me before his trip but i was so lucky to find it this morning in one of our old office email files that why am reaching you lately. Please bear with me.
Note; Due to the big number of emails I receive each day in this particular email box from our business client, I will personally advice you to direct your email reply to my private personal email box - ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) to enable me differentiate your mail from others and for a fast and urgent attention to your Money. You can call my direct mobile phone number upon the receive of this mail. +234-7042603466.
I awaits your reply.