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:
- "huge amount of money" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Stanley Lawson" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 20:08:50 +0100
Subject: *** Current residential address (Needed - Shipping .....
This esteemed office of the Apex Bank shall dispatch an inter-switch powered ATM card to your residence; which can be used through any e-payment channel (ATM, Pos Terminal, Internet, etc) Where Visa or Master is accepted, and its wide acceptability has made it internationally recognized.
You will be entitled to daily minimum withdrawal limit of Two Thousand Dollars or any amount of your choice, if you would like to obtain the said fund using this inexpensive mode of payment; kindly provide the details below to get started:
1. Your full name:
2. Telephone number (s): signify if cell, office or home and best to call
3. Current residential address for ATM Card delivery:
Therefore, you are advised to stop further e-mail or telephone communication with any other bank (s), person (s) or bureau promising to make you acquire certain huge amount of money , so as to avoid inaccuracy in finalizing your payment.
Mr. Stanley Lawson
Finance & Accounts