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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million dollars" (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: "Alex" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2012 22:53:19 -0700
>From Mr.Alex Kelvin
Royal House of Treasury
We the entire members of the Royal House of Treasury, on behalf of the Government of Great Britain, under the auspices of the Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England II held a meeting this week concerning payment,both foreign and local contractors
and some inheritance funds which were not released to the right benefactors.Her Royal Majesty, has just informed this office (Royal House of Treasury)that All the listed contractors and Inheritance funds factors which their CONTRACT PAYMENT SUM AND
INHERITANCE FUNDS were not paid to should be released to them with effect. We discovered that your payment listed to us million dollars (GBP33.5M) Great Britain Pounds(GBP33.5M), you are advised to respond with effect so that we will process your
payment to be made in any form you wish to receive your funds.Kindly respond to this office so that your payment will be process and transferred under 72hours of receiving this email. On going through files yesterday, we discovered that your file was
dumped untreated, so at this juncture, we apologize for the delay of your payment and please stop communicating with any office now and attention to the appointed office below for you to receive your payment accordingly. Now your new Payment Reference,
Allocation Password, Pin Code and your Certificate of Merit Payment Released Code ; Immediate Telex confirmation; Secret Code ,Having received these vital payment number, therefore You are qualified now to receive and confirm Your payment with the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland immediately within 72hours You are directed to reconfirm your full detailed information, as stated:
FULL NAME, HOME ADDRESS,
PROFESSION and MARITAL STATUS,
AGE, HOME PHONE NUMBER and CELL PHONE NUMBER
as well as time to call you on the phone.
Royal House of Treasury