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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr thomas <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mr thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2014 09:23:16 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: PAYMENT NOTICE
My Dear Friend
Please i want you to read this letter very carefully and i must apologize for barging this message into your mail box without any formal introduction due to the urgency and confidential of this issue and i know that this message will come to you as a surprise i finally registered your master card ATM sum of 2.5m usd to DHL courier service company with your code no (Code: (06634) / $2.5m usd) contact them immediately with the info below send this detail to director Mr. Larry EllisonÂ for fast delivery of your atm visa card.
Bellow is his contact.
Name: Mr. Larry Ellison
Telephone no:+229 99940500
Â Therefore you are requiring providing your information listed below to enable them complete your delivery to your doorstep.
Mr. Larry EllisonÂ is a God fearing and with good account of which others have received their funds successfully through his services and there was no complaining so far, so I can assure you that you will receive the payment today according to the instruction I gave to him which real on your immediate conglomerate with him.
NOTE: That it depends how serious you are