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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Rick Woodman." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 01:45:17 -0500
Subject: Reconciliation of Payment.
In view of the complaints coming from beneficiaries with respect to late or non-settlement of claims due in their favour, the Debt Management Office London United Kingdom, have been directed to handle all UNPAID payments.
Consequently, your outstanding claim is one of the cases refered to us and is now receiving immediate attention in our office and you are hereby advised to reconfirm your bank account details to us immediatelly to enable us instruct the Paying Bank to credit your account immediately.
After careful study of your payment file, we have observed that you were assigned to receive your payment long ago but unfortunately, till date you have not received the payment.
We expect your urgent response to enable us complete your fund transfer.
Mr. Rick Woodman
Director, Foreign Payment Matters