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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "application fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "cheques " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mystery Shopper" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 03:30:46 +0100
Subject: 007__Mystery Shopper Wanted__bl
MYSTERY SHOPPER WANTED
EARN NO LESS THAN
Need extra INCOME!
Become our [ MYSTERY SHOPPER]:
Earn [ NO LESS THAN $300.00 ] Per Venture:
It is Very Easy and Very Simple:
No Application fees:
Here's your chance to get paid for shopping and dinning out.
Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide Variety of shops,Stores, restaurant and services in your area.
Mystery shoppers are Needed Throughout America .Canada and The Uk
You'll be paid to shop and dine out-plus,you can also get free meals, Free merchandise, Free services, free Entertainment, Free travel and more.
Great Pay. Fun Work. Flexible Schedules.No experience required. If you can shop-you are qualified!
Let me explain to you what it entails
What is a mystery shopper?
A mystery shopper is like being 007 at the mall. Mystery shoppers must complete their assignments and go un-detected. Mystery Shoppers receive assignments consisting of a variety of business types such as: restaurants, food chains, automobile dealerships, retail stores, and more.
Businesses benefit from the services of a mystery shopper because they report their unbiased review from a customer standpoint. This enables the business to identify problems that could result in a unhappy customer and loss of sales. As you can see, mystery shoppers have a great responsibility and are paid accordingly.
As a Mystery Shopper you can:
earn up to $300 per assignment
have a flexible schedule and hours
pick and choose what assignments you want
bring your kids with you on assignments.
work part time or full time.
get free merchandise
get paid for dining out
stay at hotels for free
get paid for going to the movies
and much more...
We will be sending you cheques for any of your assignments which you will cash at your financial institution and you use the money to carry out the assignment . You do not have to use any money from your pockets. So We will provide you the money for all your assignments.
What you need to do is to contact the email below
The following information below will be needed :
Address (no Po Box):
We look forward to working with you