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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "STEVEN MORGAN" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 09:13:54 -0000
Subject: Contact Person: Mr. Peter Campos.
Kind Attention: Sir.
My name is Mr. Steve Morgan from United States, 51 Years Old. My residential address is as follows. 5424 Pent ridge Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19143-4126, United States of America, I am one of those people that took part in receiving Inheritance funds and Lottery funds from African banks and European banks even from many lottery organizers few years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid different fees or charges of over $85,000 while in the USA trying to get my funds from those banks and lottery organizers but all to no avail. So I decided to travel to WASHINGTON D.C USA with all my payment approval documents, and I was directed by the F.B.I. Director to contact a man called Mr. Peter Campos, A BRITISH CITIZEN and a member of the UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION (UNO) & INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUNDS (IMF) COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE currently staying in ACCRA GHANA. I contacted him in GHANA and he explained everything to me.
Mr. Peter Campos personally directed me on how to successfully claim my Inheritance and Lottery payment from the paying bank and right now I am the happiest man on earth because I have now finally received my funds totaling US$ 6 Million (Six Million U.S Dollars). Moreover Mr. Peter Campos, showed me the full information of those people that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your names/your email address as one of the beneficiaries and that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people because they are not with your funds but they are only making money out of you. I will personally advise you to contact Mr. Peter Campos in ACCRA GHANA immediately after reading this message. You have to contact him directly on this information below
Contact Person: Mr. Peter Campos.
Contact Address: No. 25 Groveport Hill, ACCRA GHANA
E-Mail ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone Number: +233548546340
Contact him now and stop dealing with those people that are contacting you now telling you that your funds is with them because your funds is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing left with you. Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact only Mr. Peter Campos in ACCRA GHANA so that he can help you process your payment through the paying bank instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money for fees to complete your transaction.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mr. Steve Morgan.
5424 Pent ridge Street Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, 19143-4126, U.S.A.