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 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.
- +447011128269 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Yahoo, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: SAATCHI GALLERY <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2011 06:54:49 +0100
Subject: JOB OFFER!!! EARN AS A REP FROM YOUR PC/HOME
We are an Art Gallery located at Duke of York's HQ, King's Road
Chelsea, London, SW3 4SQ, U.K. We buy and sell great art works and we have
customers from all over the world who buy from our gallery. We seek
representatives who will work with us from home/PC cos we often have
problems interacting business with our customers/clients in North America
owing to payment delays and slow process of payments to us - Payments from
our North America(US&Canada) customers/clients takes time,which is why we
need your assistant as a representative so you can help contact our
customers/clients on our behalf and collect their payments. In any amount
you receive for this company,you are entitle to a 10% cut as your pay. If
you are interested,please reply as soon as possible for more explanation and