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.
- 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: "Mrs. Connie Stevens" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 16:00:44 -0700
Subject: HOW I G0T MY UNCLAIMED FUNDS
I am Mrs. Connie Stevens I am a US citizen and i am 34 years
Old. I reside here in 108 Crockett Court. Apt 303, New Braunfels
Texas, United States and i am thinking of
relocating since I am now rich.I am one of those that took
part in the United Nations Compensation program in Nigeria
many years ago and they refused to pay me. I had paid over
TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS while in the US, trying to get my
payment but all was to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my
compensation documents and I was directed to meet Mr Michael
McHale, who is the member of COMPENSATION PROGRAM COMMITTEE,
and i contacted him and he explained everything to me.
He said who ever is contacting us through emails are fake.
He also took me to the paying bank (ZENITH BANK) for the
claim of my compensation payment. Right now, i am the
happiest woman on earth because I have received my
compensation funds , Mr Michael McHale showed me the full
information of those that are yet to receive their payments
and i saw your email as one of the beneficiaries who have
not yet received the payment under CASE FILE 54AC003 and
that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with
those people. They are not with your fund, they are only
making money off you.
Therefore, i would advise you to contact Mr Michael McHale
for assistance and inform him that your CASE FILE is
54AC003. Contact him directly via the information below.
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION AWARD PROGRAM
Name : Mr Michael McHale
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are
contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them
because it is not with them. They are only taking advantage
of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.
The only money i paid after i met Mr Michael McHale was just
the bank transfer charges, which is only normal and
legitimate as it is in all banks in the world. So please
take note of that. Mr Michael McHale shall ensure that you
deal directly with the bank(ZENITH BANk).
Once again stop contacting those people. I advise that you
contact Mr Michael McHale so that he can help you in the
collection of your fund instead of dealing with those liars
that will be turning you around asking for different kind of
money to complete your transaction.
Thank you and be blessed.
Mrs. Connie Stevens