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:
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: APPLE INCORPORATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2012 12:48:41 +0100
Subject: Apple Award Winner 2012
As part of our New Year award Lottery,your email address has been selected
as 2012 APPLE AWARD WINNER.You have been rewarded with an APPLE iPAD(APPLE
IPAD 2 WIFI 64GB WHITE) and a cheque worth 300,000 Pounds.Below is your
reference number:APPLE MC918B/A. To receive your prize,kindly send your
contact information and your reference number(APPLE MC918B/A.) to the
online Director for your prize.Find below the contact Information of the
CONTACT INFORMATION: Level 16, Block B, Northpoint Office,
Medan Syed Putra Utara, 59200 Manchester City,United
Online Director: Dr Duncan Peters
Email Address: email@example.com
(a)Full Name:..............(b)Address & Telephone:....
Congratulation once again.
Mrs Angela Briggs