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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rebecca Joe" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 08:42:56 -0700
Subject: FROM:Rebecca Joe
I got your contact details through google council search.
I am still in shocked for the incident that occurs yesterday in our office.
And i never believe that this is real in Africa till I witness it by myself now
My names is Rebecca Joe a citizen of England 35yrs old lives and work in South Africa as European Union Ambassadors to Economic Community Of West Africa Security Dept which known as ECODEPT- Ecowas was appointed from the cooperative-Union-of-ecowas-workers-limited http://www.endole.co.uk/company/09439110/uk-cooperative-union-of-ecowas-workers-limited to represent the European union in ECOWAS house satelite workshop.
There has been a problem in our department regards of a huge amount of money being diverted by unknown staffs in our dept, and this has resulted a lot of investigation by the Interpol for the last past 23 months getting to 24 month now, still no source of positive towards the investigations.
Yesterday weather was so bad, and there was a lot of traffic and I have to get to office late, by the time I get to work, the front door led to my office was not open because the splashes of rain were manipulating inside and i have to pass through the back door which is not acceptable due to the machine installed, is only made for the mechanic/repairer.Therefore, On my way I overheard smooth conversation talking about sharing ratio and %s of the missing fund i lean back and crossed my ear on the door pretends as if am dealing with my wet shoe. I clearly heard our appointed finance manager and his assistant secretary together with 3 others staff that control finance discussing on how to share the sum of $25.9 Million Dollars they diverted out from the Trillions local Libyan currency which was part of the funds that was brought from LIBYAN during the war to our security office http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/found-in-sa--libyas-trillions-1791851.
I was shocked as I was about to walk away my phone started ringing at that spot and they caught me, believe that I have overheard all they were discussing.
They now offer to give me $2.5 million dollars!, but Im so scared, I dont know what to do now.Please my friend, I dont know you, but I just seeking for your best interest and advice, if you are the one what would you do?
Should I go ahead and collect the money? Should I involve the police? Or should I report them to the management? or would you help me to receive the money on your account while i fly to meet you?