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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Debra Stephenson" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:31:58 -0400 (AMT)
Subject: WINNING NO: (05 26 28 30 42 44 BONUS 40)
NATIONAL LOTTERY AWARD WITH BBC.
Draw date Sat. 15th Nov. 2014. draw no.1972
WINNING NO: (05 26 28 30 42 44 BONUS 40)
Your e-mail had won you Â£750,000.00(GBP). in the ongoing
UK NATIONAL LOTTO IN CONJUNCTION WITH BBC AWARD,
visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/lottery/ and send
1.Name; 2.Address; 3.Phone Number; 4.Postal Code;
to MR.TOM WATSON via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: you are required to indicate b/w Bank Transfer Or
Courier Delivery as your claim option.
Congratulations from the entire BBC Staffs
Mrs. Debra Stephenson