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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Wilson Lessea." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 14:39:10 +0100
Subject: Contact Barrister John Smith For Your Certificed Visa Debt Card.
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund transferred under
the cooperation of a new partner from Kuwait and presently I am in
Kuwait for an oil investment projects with my new partner and Meanwhile,
I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in the past but
despite that it failed us some how.
Now you are to contact my lawyer and ask him to send to you a certified Visa
debt card of Us$500,000.00 which I prepared and kept for your compensation for
all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated
your efforts at that time very much so feel free and get in touch with Attorney
BARR JOHN SMITH and instruct him where to send to you the CERTIFIED
VISA DEBT CARD.
This is his full contact data!
Barr John Smith.email address
( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Please do let me know immediately you receive the card so that we can share our
joy after all the sufferings at that time.
In the moment,I am very busy here because of the investment projects we having
at hand, finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to my lawyer so
follow him up .
Dr Wilson Lessea.