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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Davis Mark <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Davis Mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 10:45:02 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Investment Opportunity/Deal
>From Desk of: Davis Mark
Benin Communications Commission (BCC).
My name is Davis Mark, I have been asked to contact you by Dr. Bashir Gwandu, the Executive Commissioner, Licensing and Consumer Affairs of the Unified Access Service Licensing Unit (UASLU) of Benin Communications Commission (BCC). In November 2007,we offered a Unified Access Service License to Mubadala Development Company of the United Arab Emirates.The business portfolio includes the fifth and last spectrum in our Global Service for Mobile (GSM) telecommunications 1800 and 900 MHz bands price of $400 million U.S Dollars.
Under the terms of the license, Mubadala was required to pay the full license fee of $400 million on or before the 21st of December including a further fee of $20,000,000 to a consulting firm called Alexio Tele Consults. We the members of the UASLU that offered the license to Mubadala agreed with Mubadala that the $20,000,000 was to be compensation to I and my colleagues for our role in offering Mubadala the spectrum license. Mubadala accepted the offer and on the 21st December,2007 paid the sum of $400 million into the BCC account while it paid the $20,000,000 into a holden account in a commercial bank for the consulting firm, Alexio Consults.
Though Alexio Consults did not exist at the time of the offer of license, we have however registered this company locally as required by our laws and have also perfected the strategy to transfer this money as Foreign fund repatriation to a foreign firm. Our present difficulty is that we are not allowed as serving civil servants to operate foreign accounts. We therefore seek your assistance to present your account as a foreign nominated beneficiary of Alexio Consults so that the bank where the $20,000,000 is held will transfer this money into your account.
We are proposing 20% for your role in the operation while 5% will be for the expenses we may incur while processing the payment. The rest will be for I and my colleagues. Please let me know your thinking soon as possible via this email address Email: email@example.com