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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- +448719182603 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Allied Irish Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2012 10:07:05 -0000
Subject: Dear prospective associate
Dear Prospective Partner,
I am Mr. Martin McCourt Non-Executive Director and Member of Audit Committee with Allied Irish Bank. I wish to present you to my bank as the beneficiary to the fund deposited by my deceased customer. Please visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7785193.stm for more details. I can present you to my bank as the beneficiary to this fund. The legal Affidavit that will testify that you are the beneficiary will be secured by me in your acceptance to co-operate with me and facilitate this deal.
Everything will be done legally to ensure the rights to the funds are transferred to you. Your role will be to:
1) Act as the original beneficiary of the funds.
2) Receive the funds into a business/private bank account.
3) Value of funds: GBP 7,500,000.00 Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds Sterling.
If you agree to partner with me, I will compensate you with 40% of the total sum. Should you prefer I re-contact you with more express facts, you can send the below details to my private email firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax: +44-8719182603 so we can proceed immediately and nurture this business for our benefits.
1) Your full name.
2) Your Direct Phone, Fax and Mobile #.
3) Company name, Position and Contact Address.
4) Profession, Age and Marital Status
Waiting for your prompt response.
Mr. Martin McCourt