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.
- 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.
- +447024077324 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Atm Center" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 03:28:41 +0100
Subject: Good News Claims Via Atm Swift Card
Message was sent from Mr Morgan Tom Cockrell of Operation.
We happily announce to you the RELEASE FILE (#147) held on Wednesday, 11TH
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your Unclaimed
file presently on my desk. Contact us as soon as you receive this email
for information on how you will be paid.
NAME: Mr Morgan Tom Cockrell PHONE:+447024077324 Or +447024055051