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.
- 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.
- +447062059291 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "MR. EDGAR PROSPER" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2017 21:36:44 +0100
Subject: WE NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
From: ExxonMobil House
Surrey, KT22 8UX.
I am Mr. Edgar Prosper , a representative of Exxon Mobil in London
(http://www.exxonmobil.com). Exxon Mobil is one of the World Largest
Fund Management Company with over £1.2 Trillion pounds Capital
As a senior representative of Exxon that handle contract related
matters,I over invoiced a contract which is not known by anybody and,
I need your full cooperation and partnership to re-profile funds
amounting to £12.5M (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand British
Pounds) to your name as the contractor that executed this contract in
The fund will be paid to you through a Finance Company where it is
presently deposited as soon as the filing and documentation process is
concluded in your name because the contract was executed by Exxon
Mobil United Kingdom in Asia.
Most importantly, you will be required to:
(1). Stand as the beneficiary / contractor with Exxon Mobil to receive
the funds as I will present you before the firm with legal documents.
(2). Receive the funds into a business/personal bank account in your country.
(3). At the completion of this transaction, the sharing rates shall be
60% for me, 40% for you.
(4) Full Names;
(5) Contact Address:
(6) Direct Telephone No:
(8) Age and Marital Status:
(9) Means of Identification:
Note: Do not contact my office number or company email for security
reasons. Get back to me as soon as possible For more details about the
funds. For further inquiries contact me through my private email
address:(email@example.com)Let all email be through my private
email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Edgar Prosper