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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: Mr Gomez Walter Field <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 02:40:50 +0100
Subject: Vanguard Express Delivery Service.
Vanguard Express Delivery Service.
4 Abbey Orchard Street Westminster
London Sw1p 2ht
Re: Delivery of Consignments to Your Country
We are writing this email to you and you should please respond to this email very urgent.
We have perfected modalities on how to bring this fund to your house without any problem, but be aware that Barclays Bank Plc and the government of London has only authorized us the release of $10,500,000.00 in cash. The diplomat from UK Embassy will leave Friday 1st April 2016 ur Country. Your urgent response to this email will facilitate the delivery of the fund.
The diplomat must leave Friday 1st April 2016 as I have stated above, but that can be done if we can have the following information:
Your Name in Full
Direct Phone Number
Once aforementioned information is received, it will enhance the smooth delivery of the fund . Why the phone and name are most important information, is that it enables the diplomat call you on arrival to your country. Every arrangement is in top gear and only you will make this a realty.
Let us have the information above with alacrity.(email@example.com)
Note the fund will be brought to your house without ado.
Mr Gomez Walter Field
Director: Vanguard Express Delivery Service
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