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:
- "headquater" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- requested details: contact person: mr.fred johnson email: email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org once we receive this (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Miss joan Love <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Miss joan Love <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:33:42 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: RELEASE OF YOUR FUND AS INSTRUCTED BY THE FBI
Â Â Attention
In a recent meeting held with the new FBI Director concerning debt reconciliation, this is to inform you that we have agreed to release your fund worth ($1.8Million) which will come via Global Automatic Teller Machine debit master Card as instructed from our headquater by JAMES B. COMEY, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). However, the below information is needed as to enable the profiling of your ATM card and its delivery to you:
Underneath is the contact information of appointed dispatch person whom you are to forward the above requested details:
Contact Person: Mr.Fred Johnson
Once we receive this information, we will proceed without delay.
Miss joan Love