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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Paul May" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 18:32:57 +0300
Subject: Contact Mr.Lim Ahmed.
We are an independent auditing financial,consultant and risk management firm known as Financial Solutions located in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.We deal with both Local and International financial affairs both the Government,private and public personal.We also deal the issues concerning unclaimed fund and assets, including stocks, bonds, dormant savings account, security deposits, inheritance etc.We are currently serving as claims agent to Sweepstakes.
We are appointed by the Malaysian Financial Regulatory Body, International Monetary Fund(IMF) and United Nations Authority In Damansara,Malaysia, to contact you and act on your behalf regarding an information from a Safe Deposit Security Company in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.
We were informed that this Safe Deposit Security is currently holding, for you, funds valued at Five Million, Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($5,800,000.00).This fund according to the information received was as a result of an unfinished business transaction or sweepstakes winning.
It is due to International financial Law barriers,that you are not allowed to deal directly with this Safe Deposit Security Company without an assistance of a Financial Consultant here in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia who will represent,assist and act on your behalf with the claim of this fund and to also supervise all your dealings with this safe deposit security firm. Which is the main reason we are contacting you.
For your information, our service costs for consulting will be paid by the above mentioned authorities, as we are a Government accredited financial consultant.
We assure you of all the necessary support required to guarantee a positive result. You have an estimated 7 to 10 days with you to finalize every thing regrading this claim.Please contact the below mentioned for more information
Contact Name:Mr.Lim Beng Ahmed.
Position: International Financial Consultant
He will provide you with further information necessary on how the claim will be made once you have contacted him. to this letter. We advise you keep this matter very private and confidential to avoid breach of security and issue of double claiming.Endeavor to provide him with the information below for crosschecking:Is very important.
Your File Ref No:FS/121/MY/011
Full Contact Name
Your Full Current Address,
Direct contact cell Number:
Director Financial Solutions