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:
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Peterson Brown <WWW.@blue.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Peterson Brown <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 12:00:46 +0900 (JST)
Subject: COMPLY AS SOON AS YOU CONFIRM THIS EMAIL
This is to inform you that I have registered your card valued $4.8 Million through courier company DHL, the registration code is: awb 33xzs. Kindly re-confirm your information to avoid wrong claim, your names, address, phone number and country. Contact, Mr.John Richard Email(firstname.lastname@example.org) and also call him on: +22998534741
I have paid for the Insurance & Delivery fee. The only fee you have to pay is their Security fee $100 Please indicate the registration Number and ask Him how to pay their Security fee of $100 so that you can pay it