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:
- "processing fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
- +447053826674 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Cecil Tremlines" <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 16:14:47 +0600
Subject: Kind Attention
The IMF in conjunction with world bank solemnly assigned for the
compensation settlement unit and we are contacting you based on the
instruction to settle you from this I.M.F pet project. A vast sum of
$35,700,000 has been set aside for your settlement which will only be
out to you in person at any of our desginated banks in London, Belgium,
France, Hong Kong or Indonesia. There are no upfront payments/charges
aside from the administrative/processing fees paid ONLY in the bank
manager's office after filling out all the necessary papers works.
Kindly update us with the following details
1, Your full name
2, Your designated address
3, Your Phone numbers
4, Scan copy of your identification (International passport or drivers
5, Occupation and Age
Dr. David Mathews
700 19th Str., N.W
Washington D.C 20431 USA