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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "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: "DR.HELEN WAYNE,MD" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2013 00:59:51 -0700
Subject: SCAMMED VICTIM/521 BENEFICIAR?IES REF/PAYMEN?TS CODE: 06654
I am Dr. Helen Wayne, I am a US citizen, 64 years Old. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Africa many
years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $20,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail. So
I decided to travel over to Africa with all my compensation documents, and I was directed to meet Mrs. Waziri Farida, who
is a member of E.F.C.C CHAIRMAN, and I contacted her and she explained everything to me. she 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 have received my compensation funds of $10,500,000.00 Moreover, Mrs. Waziri Farida, 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 Mrs. Waziri Farida directly through the below information and send her your FULL NAME, ADDRESS
AND PHONE NUMBER.
Name: Mrs. Waziri Farida
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 Mrs. Waziri Farida was just $450 for the delivery of your Cashier check, take note of that.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Childrens Hospital Outpant Ctr
Columbia, SC 29203