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:
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- +447031966282 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. James Oliver" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2017 07:00:10 -0700
Subject: RE: CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY.
We sincerely hope that this letter reaches you well in good health, I am the government appointed National Registrar and overseer of international payments performed by banks within United Kingdom to persons,companies,or government in other countries.
My office has detected $50,000,000.00 under your name that is unclaimed and floating, we do not know the reason why this money has been unclaimed, however we traced the history to a local bank here which made us to know that it belongs to you.
My office have the approval of Her Majesty's Treasury to release all unpaid and unclaimed payments to their owners locally or internationally through one of the government approved banks for this task, this is the reason we are contacting you.
You are not required to pay any money to anyone but you must be able to show identifications matching your name , and your payment must be paid to you through the bank, and you must provide a bank information matching your name.
Please kindly respond to let us know if you are the right person we intend to communicate this information's to.
With Best Regards,
Mr. James Oliver
Tel: +44 703 196 6282