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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "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.
- +447024033430 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms.Christine Hernandez" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:57:12 -0400
Subject: SUBJECT: TAKE MY ADVICE .
To: My good friend,
SUBJECT: Your Lottery / Inheritance Payment
My name is Ms. Christine Hernandez; I am from Argentina presently in Washington DC.
I am a next of kin to an inheritance from Nigeria in the year 2008 and up till three
months ago, I fought to receive my due inheritance payment without success. I
did not know that all these years of my struggle, I was been swindled and
mishandled by corrupt government officials claiming to help me actualize my
goal not knowing they were only enriching their pockets with my hard earned
money that I sent to Nigeria for one reason or the other.
Not until I was directed to The British HM Treasury/Ministry of Finance zonal office in London by a US senator in the US three month ago.. He directed me to contact the zonal
representative of The British HM Treasury in London and I did contact him for
assistance and advice on what to do to receive my due inheritance payment into
my bank account. It was this good and God fearing man that I contacted before I could get my funds into my bank account successfully .
When you contact him, give him an elaborate detail of your problem
e.g..Lottery, Contract or Inheritance even Investment and he is going to advice
you on what to do and how to go about it. Find his contact details below and
contact him at once, man is God to man, I have realized this fact. Feel free to
ask the man any question.
Contact: General Frank Coyle
British HM Treasury Zonal Office London
Lastly, least I forget, the united nations office in London supplied me
with your contact details that I should give you the good news that they are
doing all within their power to clean the system and maintain justice.
Ms. Christine Hernandez
Private Company, Headquarters Location
3088 Winkle Ave. Ste. B, Santa Cruz, CA, United States
Primary SIC: Electrical Work, Primary NAICS: Electrical Contractors
Description: Construction: Electrical contractor