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 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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Hon. Mrs. Helen Willie" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 22:20:55 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: Contact Mr. David Fisher
This is to official inform you that we have been having a meeting for the past Seven month which ended Two days ago with Dr. Robert B. Zoellick the World Bank President and Hon. Mrs. Christine Lagarde (IMF) Director General, in the meeting we treated on Scam victim problems.
United Nation have agreed to compensate you with the sum of Nine Hundred and Eighty Thousand Dollars (USD$980,000.00) this also includes international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc?. We have arranged your payment through MasterCard ATM which is the latest instruction from World Bank Group.
For the collection of your MasterCard ATM contact our representative Mr. David Fisher and forward the following details to him.
1. Full Name:.........
3. Delivery Address:..........
4. Telephone:..............& Occupation.......
5. Your Age...... /Sex..........
6: Your Nearest Airport..........
Contact Mr. David Fisher with below email and phone number and forward all your details to him.
Email:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Telephone +229 9673 1025
Note: for the immediate collection of your MasterCard ATM contact our representative Agent. David Fisher to enable you confirm your payment without further delay and note any other contact you made out side his office is at of your own risk.
Hon. Mrs. Helen Willie
CC: Hon. Mrs. Christine Lagarde
CC: World Bank Group
CC: Mr. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General