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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Diplomat Jeff Williams. " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:40:54 +0800
Subject: Good Day my dear friend
With due respect, I am Diplomat Jeff Williams, I was contacted by BlackRock CH Switzerland to deliver your inheritance fund to you in your country home of residence, which was deposited in their Cooperation by Mr, Andrei Borodin
know that you were made the beneficiary of these funds (ï¿¡25 Million pounds) twenty five millions pounds. by Mr. Andrei Borodin whose details will be revealed to you after handing over the funds to you in accordance with the Agreement I have signed with the BlackRock CH Switzerland when they seek for my assistance in delivering the funds to you.
I am presently discussing the modalities with them here in Switzerland. Know that before I can deliver the funds to you, you have to reconfirm the following information to me so as to ensure that I am dealing with the right person.
1. Full Name
2. Residential Address
5. Direct Telephone / Fax Numbers
6. Country of Origin of fund.
After verification of the information with what I have on my file, I shall contact you so that we can make arrangement on the exact time I will be bringing your package to your residential address. Be informed "that"the requested information is very important in other to enable us proceed with the delivery.
Diplomat Jeff Williams
Swiss Diplomatic Agent
For: BlackRock CH Switzerland