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.
- +447024096869 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "TINA WILLIAMS" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 18:21:30 +0100
Subject: Hello Dearest One, Plea For Assistance!!!!
Hello Dearest One
My Name is Mrs Tina Williams, Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am a new Christian convert suffering from long time cancer of the breast and have only six months to live, presently I am in a Hospital in London taking my treatment.
I decided to divide my late husband's wealth to the tune of $40 million to churches in Africa, America, Asia and Europe and for humanity in general.
Please confirm the below Details if you are interested to assist me in this noble course:
1. Your full name
2. Your mailing address
3. Your telephone and fax numbers
On receipt of these details, I will forward it to my Attorney so that some necessary changes will be made on the documents to enable you have claim to this Donation, as I await your gentle and kind response to my mail. You Can reach me on my hospital number +44-702-409-6869
God bless you and your family.