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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign payment department" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Debt Management International" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 08:49:02 -0400
Subject: Good News
I am Mr. Adrian Dominicus chairman of Foreign payment Department, I have been mandated to inform you about the recent development as in your payment, this morning after our board meeting, your case was mention and we have agreed to pay you Without any further delay so I would require you to desist from any partner Who may have been requesting for your information's.
I would like you to employ transparency and honesty in this regard because aiding and abetting will only keep your payment pending so I will like you to confirm the following to avoid any mistake or wrong Transfer. The total fund is US$10.5 million (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) The Requested Information is to ensure that no mistake or error is made and it should be forwarded In the manner stated below:
Your Full Name: _____
Your Complete Address: _____
Name of City of Residence: _____
Direct Telephone Number: _____
Mobile Number: _____
Fax Number: ______
Mr. Adrian Dominicus