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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. FRANK WILLIAMS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2018 15:39:46 +0100
Subject: CONTACT THE AUTHORIZE PAYING BANK IN NEW YORK USA
Going through our verification in your portfolio of contracts you sent to this company. We apologize on behalf of EXXON MOBIL for not contacting your company for payment that is due to being in your care before now.
Be informed that we have received a notice for the release and transfer of the sum of £12.5M - Twelve Million Five Hundred Million Pounds Sterling. The fund owner will guarantee payment through the Exxon Mobil Payment Center Atlantic Bank Ltd New York.
However, in accordance with international standard banking practice (treasury management guidelines), I am pleased to formally confirm the final approval of the credit control in favor of that beneficiary through the Exxon Payment Center Mobil, Atlantic Bank Ltd New York.
Your Total fund is now available for transfer through the Exxon Mobil Atlantic Bank Ltd payment center.
All necessary documentation has been written, filed and approved on your behalf as the beneficiary of the fund for the immediate release and transfer of the Fund to you through the use of your transfer process directly to you.
In this note, your obligation is now to contact MR.JAMES VINCENT FIORE head of service by sending a copy of your international passport or driver's license or any means of identification and direct telephone number so that they can confirm as beneficiary in your registration to allow the immediate release of the fund in your care.
Compensation Officer: MR. JAMES VINCENT FIORE
CONTACT PERSON: MR. JAMES VINCENT FIORE
Atlantic Bank Ltd New York
Mr. Frank Williams