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 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: "PAUL MILLER"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 07:23:50 -0800
Subject: ATM PAYMENT
External Review Committee on Debt.
SPRING INTERNATIONAL BANK NIGERIA
Compliment of the season and a blessed and prosperous new year
We wish to inform you that you have been scheduled to be paid $280,000.00 through our Automated teller machine card (ATM Card) which you will only be required to proceed to any ATM Cash Point to withdraw the sum of $400 per day till the payment is completed.
This development is as a result of a just concluded yearly program where 10 individuals get cash benefits from our bank. These 10 beneficiaries are selected randomly through personal websites, account holders etc. Being an international bank, we endeavor to make this opportunity available to everyone, no matter the location.
We normally use FedEx for all our international shipments. To enable the shipment take place you will have to pay the sum of $150 shipping fees. These are FedEx charges and not for the bank, we only help to receive these funds on their behalf and will immediately inform them to ship your ATM card once we confirm payments.
We are sorry as we cannot deduct from your funds to pay for the Shipping/Transfer charges. This is in accordance with section 13(1-2) of the new payment policy Act as adopted in 1993 and amended on 3rd July 1998 by the external review committee on debt. This is to protect our clients and to avoid misappropriation of funds by officials.
Furthermore you are advised to contact me ASAP for the issuance of your ATM card and my e-mail address is email@example.com. When you contact me, kindly provide your;
1. Full Name (As Stated in your ID):
2. Contact Address (Where your ATM card will be shipped to)
4. Valid telephone number:
5. Preferred pin number:
This information will be used to process your card before it's issued out to you. I will like to know if you still want me to proceed. I humbly await your instructions.
ATM Issuing Department.