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:
- 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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mr John Eddy" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 07:44:19 +0400
Subject: ***SUSPECT*** Contact Mr Frank Williams
It is my pleasure to inform you that ATM Card Number; 9571342020375603 have been approved in your favor. Your Personal Identification Number is 2900. The ATM Card Value is $850,000.00 Only. You are advised that a maximum withdrawal value of $3,000.00 USD is permitted on withdrawal per Day and we are duly Inter Switch and you can make withdrawal in any Inter Switch location and ATM Center of your choice.
NOTE:A sum of $180 has to be made to this office to effect the delivery of your ATM CARD at your possession.
Contact Mr Frank Williams
Cell Phone: +234 807 496 8593
This message (and any associated files) is intended only for the
use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may
contain information that is confidential, subject to copyright or
constitutes a trade secret. If you are not the intended recipient
you are hereby notified that any dissemination, copying or
distribution of this message, or files associated with this message,
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error,
please notify us immediately by replying to the message and deleting
it from your computer. Messages sent to and from us may be monitored.
Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free
as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive
late or incomplete, or contain viruses. Therefore, we do not accept
responsibility for any errors or omissions that are present in this
message, or any attachment, that have arisen as a result of e-mail
transmission. If verification is required, please request a hard-copy
version. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author
and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
RETAIL COMPUTER SOLUTIONS LIMITED
TEL: +44(0)1924 260020
FAX: +44(0)1924 260389
Registered in England No. 2371786