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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2012 13:30:08 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: ****SPAM**** LAST NOTICE BEFORE TRANSFER TODAY ,
PLEASE CALL ME ON 234-8025456094 TODAY BECAUSE YOUR FUND WILL BE
FROM THE DESK OF
DR GOOD LUCK JONATHAN
TEL = 234-8025456094
THIS IS TO BRING TO YOUR NOTICE THAT YOUR FUND WILL BE RELEASE TODAY AND
YOU ARE ADVISE TO RECONFIRM YOUR BANKING INFORMATION INCLUDING YOUR
TELEPHONE NUMBER TODAY.
YOU ARE ADVISE TO CALL ME ON 234-8025456094 AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS
MAIL NOW .REMEMBER THEY BANK OF AMERICA WILL RELEASE YOUR FUND AS SOON AS
YOU RECONFIRM THE REQUESTED INFORMATION ABOVE
DR GOOD LUCK JONATHAN
CODE IN GOD WE TRUST
NOTE , RECONFIRM YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER TO ENABLE US CONCLUDE THE RELEASE
OF YOUR FUND TODAY.PLEASE TRY AND CALL ME ON THIS NUMBER 234-8025456094