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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- +447086466006 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- whitlock phone: +447086466006 skype: whitlockg firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Whitlock and Associates <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 05:04:38 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Can you be able to handle this?
Top of the day
Please I want you to help me receive a huge amount of money left by my dead client in a bank here in London. I am bankrupt and desperately need money which is why I need your help to claim the money and we can share. Please try to understand me and do not question my reason in trying to claim this money. Moreover if nobody claims the money the government will confiscate it with a policy initiated by the UK government. You can read about the policy here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4017381.stm
You can also see the attached Power of Attorney given to me by late Sergey Pletnev and his driver's license to know more about this business and its authenticity. when i get your response I will give further details and show documents showing the authenticity of this business.