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:
- "email@example.com" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr George Williams." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 13:28:43 +0200
Subject: RE: PLEASE CLARIFY
Attn: Worthy Beneficiary Sir/Madam ,
My name is Mr George Williams, The United Kingdom UK assigned agent by the
IMF/UN and Office of the Presidency Nigeria after the meeting held early
last month January 2013 to deliver your fund worth (US$1.1M One Million
One Hundred Thousand Dollars Only ) to you. I arrived at The BALTIMORE
/WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BWI AIRPORT) in United States.
I alsowant you to know that i have only 5 working days to deliver this money to
you and go back to my country for an official assignment again to carry
out from World Bank Government and United Nation Unit.
I need you to reconfirm to me your full address where to have your fund
delivered and your direct contact Name / number Home or Office Address and
your ID passport proof attached including closest name of your airport
near your location .
Here is my direct number where to reach me 240-258-8045
I wait for your urgent response via ;E-ma l: Georgewilliams@qq.com
Mr George Williams.