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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "her majesty Queen of england" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 04:24:20 -0700
Subject: THIS IS FOR YOU
1 Horse Guards Road London SW1A 2HQ,
Good day ,
It has come to our notice that after various effort which you have made through our commercial banks such as Barclays Bank PLC, HSBC BANK PLC, Natwest Bank, Lloyds Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Etc and your effort was in vain. It is because this office has not officially endorsed the signatory which will empower you to receive your fund, Her Majesty Queen of England has issue an ultimatum to every foreign outstanding/Unclaimed funds should be released which she has started since 2006 as stated on the below website.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5171222.stm you are advised to send us your full address, banking information, including your telephone number and occupation. your international passport for proper identification and this will enable us to release your fund. Previously we have paid wrong eneficiaries and we are making sure that such will not happen again
Mrs Susan Brening
Financial Adviser to Her Majesty Queen of England