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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Roland <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mr Roland <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:54:02 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent Attn Dear
Urgent Attn Dear
I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting that fund transferred. Now I want you to contact my secretary on his email address below and receive your compensation of $5.200.000.00USD dollars from him:
NAME: Barr.Charles Scott
PHONE +229 9846 9443
Kindly reconfirm to him the following below information:
Your full name_________________________
Your Phone number______________________
Note that if you did not send him the above information complete, he will not release the ATM CARD to you because he has to be sure that it is you. Ask him to send you
the total sum of (US5.200.000.00USD)which I deposited in your name. Note also that I will not be reached by email or phone for now because I am currently away in Japan
for investment purpose with my share and I will be busy till about six months time or a year.