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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447017049446 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barclays PLC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 18:58:02 +0530
Subject: RE: Official Payments Reply ASAP.
Barclay's Bank Plc -Foreign Operation Dept
1 Churchill place, London
E14 5hp, United Kingdom
Dear Honorable Beneficiary,
We have been instructed by the board of directors of united nations in con=
junction with the British ministry of finance to transfer
your outstanding inheritance fund worth $10,700,000.00 USD please kindly ge=
t back to us via email below with your full personal
information to enable us commence immediately with the transfer into your b=
Your Full Name: _____ Your Contact Address: ______ Your Phone Number: _____
Your Age/Occupation: _______ Next of Kin Name & Address: ______
Nationality: _________ Scan copy of your Identification:______
Dr. Robert Brown
BARCLAYS BANK PLC
Registration Number: 122702
=A9 Barclays 2014