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:
- "million pounds" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- +447011174235 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr William Achums <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 04:21:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: OFFICIAL MEMO FROM DR WILLIAM ACHUMS
>From Dr William AchumsAddress: #8 Mitchley Road Tottenham London N17 9HGTel: +44-7011174235 OR +44-7011174230
Very Urgent and confidential I write to request your co- operation in my desire to find a foreign partner who will assist me in the relocation and investment of the sum of 14.450 Million Pounds Sterling (Fourteen Million Four Hundred and Fifty thousand Pounds, which is presently available in my possession. Presently, I am serving government functionary in my Country United Kingdom. The money was realized from gratification/kickbacks which was received from foreign contractors who executed contracts for my country,for pass three years. I am unable to travel out now,so i shall be glad if you can stand as beneficiary to receive this money abroad,and also nominate a good investment facility in your country where the fund will be placed,for profits making. the amount deposited is the sum of 14.450 Million Pounds Sterling in a swift security firm whose name is with held for now.I am offering you 35% 5% will be for processing of the
transfer into your possession/account and the remaining 60% will be for me, This transaction does not have any risk attached to it, as all secret information's that will be required from you by the Company is with me right now over here,You should send the a/c information,together with your telephone number.Office & Cell phone for easier & faster communication. Bank Name... Bank Address.....A/C Name......A/C Number... Your Telephone... ..Swift Code...
look forward to hear from you as soon as possible if you are interested.
Dr William Achums