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:
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "WVF WASHINGTON DC" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:42:18 +0100
Subject: Better World Vision
I'm Mrs Kim David with WORLD VISION Foundation's Foreign remittance department Washington DC, USA. The WORLD VISION Foundation is an NGO concerned with the betterment of the world citizens. It was set up as an MDGs program with support from the World Bank Group. You have been shortlisted as a beneficiary of this scheme.
The WORLD VISION foundation has chosen you to be her ambassador, a tool to help in her better world program through the payment of this fund.
I am therefore, mandated to inform you that your name has been approved here in our office as a beneficiary of this scheme with the sum of $0.5 Million US D (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only).
Note that you have less than 21 days to receive the fund. You are advised to contact Dr Edward Phillip, Country director "WORLD VISION Foundation better world scheme" for more directive.
[This is the region your contact detail fall in]
Bureau for the contact information.
Name...... Dr Edward Phillip