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:
- "cheques " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- fabrics company ltd. website: www.cheapfabrics.co.uk email@example.com attn; sir/ma with due respect to you, i am writing following (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Michael Keane"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 03:32:42 +0100
CHEAP FABRICS COMPANY LTD.
With due respect to you, I am writing following an impressive information we got about you through a consultancy firm under USA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY. Thus we were assured of your capability and reliability to champion a business of great magnitude.
I am Mr. Michael Keane, the managing director of the above-mentioned company. Base on the assurance given on your behalf, my company has appointed you as our debt collector from our overseas creditors. The creditors sometimes send us CHEQUES for our payment, but foreign checks take LONGER time to clear and sometimes some of them got lost on transit, which impact a great lost to this Company.
It is on this effect that we the management outstayed a dept collector overseas. You haven been selected on this contract, the management has agreed that any debt YOU collected on our behalf, 10% is allowed for you as your share while the remaining will be remitted to us through wire transfer on our cooperate account.
To commence on this transaction, you are to send the following in your reply
1. Name you want to be written on the check.
2. Direct telephone number
3. Mailing address
4. Your company names if any.
NOTE: Your duty is ONLY to collect CHECKS on our behalf from our creditors overseas and have 10% of the total funds paid to you. If you are interested in our offer, please reply to our email.
Awaiting your positive reply.
MY CONTACT EMAIL: email@example.com
Mr. Michael Keane. (C.E.O)
CHEAP FABRICS COMPANY LTD