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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: sam karim <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2012 11:00:25 +0100
I'm sorry but happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from London, though i tried my best to involve you in the business but God decided the whole situations. Presently Im in London now for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite the fact that it failed us somehow.
Now contact my secretary in Burkina Faso his name is Mr. Sam Karim on his-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ask him to send you the total sum of ($3.5m) American dollars which I kept for your compensation for all your past efforts and attempt to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get in touched with my secretary Sam Karim and instruct him where to send the fund to you. Please do let me know immediately you receive the money so that we can share the joy together after all the sufferings at that time.
In the moment, I am very busy here in London because of the investment projects which I and the new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that I have forwarded instructions to my secretary on your behalf to receive that fund, so feel free to get in touch with him. He will send the money to you without any delay ok.
Extend my greetings to your family.
Dr .Pat Babar.