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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Guillermo Chavez" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2012 15:40:53 +0200
Subject: Did You Get My Email?
Mr Guillermo Chavez
l know we have not met before, But my proposal calls for an Emergency alert which gives me no room for much protocol. I am presently the Chief Executive Accountant of La Caixa S.L, located in Barcelona Spain
I found it interesting and I decided to link you, as I need your assistance to act as the next of kin to a business transaction. Kindly reply me at your earliest convenient Time, as I need your assistance to act as the next of kin. And receive the funds in the dormant account involving: Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Euros- Only.
Well I have a lot to explained to you in respect of this transaction and the safety involve for further information kindly contact me with this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Please take a moment of your time schedules to read and send forward to me your full contact details, such as
(1) Full Names
(2) Direct phone/Fax Numbers
(3) Age and Sex
(6) Date of birth
(7) Contact address
Mr. Guillermo Chavez