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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +447053826392 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Lloyds TSB U.K" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 05:35:08 -0800
Subject: Lloyds Account/Bond Liquidation.
Lloyds TSB Offshore
25 Gresham Street London,
EC2V 7HN,United Kingdom.
You are cordially informed that a Vincent Odipo Charity Trust Fund
Bond of 76,000,000 USD has been deposited in our reputable bank in a
trust account and to enable these bonds be liquidated and allocated to
You are required to open an on-line account with our bank and provide
a copy of your International Passport or Driver's License to activate
your account for deposit and transfer purposes.
Note: You have less than 48 hours to apply for your account to enhance
the liquidation of this Charity Bonds as demanded by the banking policy
of the bank, so get back to me with your personal details, so the
website of the bank can be sent to you to proceed with the on-line
Lloyds TSB U.K