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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found 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: Mrs Alima Hammed <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 21:14:46 -0400
I am sending you this message to inform you that I have finally made it! I later came across an American businessman who helped me in getting the fund transferred into his bank account in the United States of America where I am presently with my new partner, working on the establishment of our investment.Hence I am extremely busy right at the moment. I still fathom your concern and past efforts to help me get the fund to your Country even though we were constrained by theauthority for one reason and the other. But your past sincere effort is well recognized and appreciated, therefore I have left an amount of US$ 250,000.00 deposited in a visa credit card in a sealed white envelop with your name inscribed on it as the beneficiary with my bank officer in Benin Republic.You have to contact him now by making reference to this message and instruct him to send your visa credit card to you immediately and do make sure that you inform me after receiving your ATM credit card so we could share the joy. Below is the
EMAIL ADD ; email@example.com
Mr Addison Bacon.
Tel: +229 61 57 73 39.
Mrs Alima Hammed