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.
- 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 (Superposta; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Secretary General" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 00:48:09 +0100
Subject: Contact Mr.Herbert Wigwe for your compensation for scammed victims/US$750,000.0
3 Whitehall Court London
SW1A 2EL United Kingdom
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? You may not understand why this mail came to you. I wish to inform you that we have been having a meeting with the IMF for the past 1 month now which ends yesterday in regards to innocent individual who has been a victim of scam that was going on in African and Europe, this Organization(UNITED NATIONS) have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$750,000.00.
This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their Contract sum, and some people that have an unfinished Transaction/International Businesses that failed due to one problem or the other.
Going through our data base your email contacts and name was found on the list and that is why we are contacting you for you to receive your own compensation and this said money will be paid via ATM MASTER CARD Payment Method which is the easiest and safer way of receiving without any hindrance and it will issued to you from our Authorized Bank in Nigeria(Africa) You are advised to contact Mr.Herbert Wigwe on this Email:email@example.com as he is our Legal Representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your own ATM MASTER CARD,you should send him your full Name and telephone number your confidential address where you want him to send the Card.
Hoping to hear from you as soon as you receive your MASTER CARD.