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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- 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.
- +447011137826 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Laurens Vis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 12:13:11 -0530
Subject: What you must know about your intention.
FROM KAS BANK. Suite 560 Salisbury House
London Wall Broadgate London
EC2M 5NU,United Kingdom
Please accept my apologies if this request does not meet your personal ethics as it is not intended to cause you any embarrassment in what ever form. I got your contact email address from the internet directory and decided to contact you for this transaction that is based on trust and your outstanding. I have an interesting business proposal for you that will be of immense benefit to both of us. Although this may be hard for you to believe, but we stand to gain £9,500,000.00 GBP between us in a matter of days. Please grant me the benefit of doubt and hear me out.
An American citizen who unfortunately lost his life and his entire family in Montana plane crash on March 23, 2009, on their way to a group ski vacation. Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come up for the claim but nobody has done that.
The reason why I have contacted you to seek your consent to present you as an relative so that the funds will be release to you, then we set up an equilibrium share because am not a greedy person and is deal between me and you.
If you are interested in this deal, kindly send me your complete information, your full names and address, Your Private telephone and Fax numbers, and Cell phone so that the attorney will start processing the necessary paperwork that would facilitate the release of the funds to you.
Dr. Laurens Vis.