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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- jeremy greenstock email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com tel: +44 776 381 4367 fax: +44 870 479 6992 (Uncc-uk; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNCC CUSTOMER SERVICE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 19:24:39 -0000
Subject: Re: UN- Official Notification
UN- INFORMATION CENTER/AUDIT/INTERCEPTION UNIT
700 19TH STREET, NEW YORK , N.Y. 10043
OUR REF: WB/NF/UN/WX04105
PAYMENT APPROVED CODE: XX90001-UN-UK
SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2012
UN HEAD OFFICE / INFORMATION CENTER US:
To Whom It May Concern:
Good day, We are sending this official letter to inform you that your Payment
file valued at US$5.8Million has been approved by UNCC, kindly contact Sir.
Jeremy Greenstock United Nations High Commissioner London (UNHCL) for
immediate release of your funds with the payment approved code as stated
above. More info:
Contact person: Sir. Jeremy Greenstock
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
TEL: +44 776 381 4367 Fax: +44 870 479 6992
Mr. Douglas Khan
Head of International Monitoring Unit