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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark Williams." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 18:37:38 +0200
Subject: Re-Verify To Know The Capacity Of Your Bank Account.
From Mr. Mark Williams.
Re-Verify To Know The Capacity Of Your Bank Account.
This is to bring to your notice of an unclaimed fund in our bank which has remained unpaid in your favour for a period of time; you are hereby required to contact me immediately for your payment.
Re-confirm your details:
(1) Your Full Names:
(2) Your Official Address:
(3) Your Telephone/ Fax Number for Confirmation:
(4) Your Age/ Occupation
Finally, note that I have all the necessary documents and legal power to release your over due approved payment to your bank account, but you will compensate me with 35% of the total amount of the fund.
Please respond only to me through this private email address:
Mr. Mark Williams.