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:
- "million us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Malcolm Benson" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 03:37:32 -0000
Subject: ATTENTION STOP ALL TRANSACTION
Attn: My Dear,
I am Mr.Malcolm Benson, I am a US citizen, 54 years Old. I reside here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My residential address is as follows. 5825 Valley Forge Ave . Apt 303, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States, I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $50,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel to WASHINGTON D.C with all my compensation documents, and I was directed by the ( F B I) Director to contact Mr. Anthony Powell, who is a representative of the ( F B I ) and a member of the COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, currently in Nigeria, and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake.
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the most happiest man on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $1.5 Million Us Dollars Moreover, Mr. Anthony Powell, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your name as one of the beneficiaries, and your email address, that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advise you to contact Mr. Anthony Powell.
You have to contact him directly on this information below.
COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name: Mr. Anthony Powell
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.
The only money I paid after I met Mr. Anthony Powell was just $400 for the paper works, take note of that.
Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Mr. Anthony Powell so that he can help you to deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
5825 Valley Forge Ave.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
United States of America