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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "moneygram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- MoneyGram money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. Along with Western Union it is a preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
Fraud email example:
From: Mystery Shopper <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mystery Shopper <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 03:00:18 +0620
Subject: MYSTERY SHOPPER WANTED EARN NO LESS THAN $ 300.00 Need extra INCOME! Become our [ MYSTERY SHOPPER]:Earn [ NO LESS THAN $300.00 ] Per Venture
GAPbuster Worldwide is the world's largest Mystery Shopping company
Established in 1994, we operate in over 50 countries with a global team of
over 200,000 Mystery Shoppers. We are a company that conduct surveys and
evaluate other companies.We get hired to go to other peoples companies and
act like customers in order to know how the staffs are handling their
services in relation to their customers. once we have a contract to do so,
you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given the
funds you need to do the job (either purchase things or require services),
after which you would write a comment on the staffs activities and give a
detailed record of your experience.
Examples of details you would forward to us are:
1) How long it took you to get services.
2) Smartness of the attendant
3)Customer service professionalism
4)Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant,
to see how they react to clients why they get tensed.
And we turn the information over to the company executives and they would
carry out their own duties in improving there services. Most companies
employ our assistance when people give complains about their services, or
when they feel there are needs for them to improve their customer service.
your Identity would be kept confidential as the job states (secret
shopper)Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a
wide variety of shops, stores, restaurant and services in your area.
We understand that the confidentiality of your personal details is critical.
For this reason our application process is completely secure. No commitment
is made on this job, and you would have flexible hours as it suits you. This
is a part-time job and it does not affect your Daily Activities/Job.WE will
communicate mostly through email which you have to reply swiftly within the
time frame of 24 hours.Your response to this email is needed , so that we
can reconfirm your mailing address details we have in our database.
For the next 4 weeks,We will be evaluating WESTERN UNION and MONEYGRAMM
OUTLETS so as to know the efficiency of their customer service.We will be
updating you on when you will be getting the payment for the commencement of
the mystery shopping,you will deduct 10% of the payment and send the rest
through the WESTERN UNION OR MONEYGRAMM OUTLET to any of our mystery
shoppers AGENT in the US or UK and get back to us with the details of the
efficiency at the WESTERN UNION OR MONEYGRAMM OUTLET.
If you are interested do send in this information to
CONTACT ADDRESS:(NO P O BOX)
So we can look at your distance from the locations which you have to put
your services into, and your address would also be needed for your payments.
For any more enquire you can call or text us on this cell number +1 (720)
GapBuster Survey Public.Relations.Officer, LLC