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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "BOC ACCREDITED AGENT"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 20:20:38 -0800
Subject: Your Platinum Atm Visa Debit Card is available for pick up
BANK OF CHINA LONDON (ACCREDITED AGENT)
90 Cannon Street
London EC4N 6HA,
Ref: Payment Code :WF-UKKP23/857/MCL5/CO
Grant Number: WF/UK-MICC/97846563459/209
REF: BANK OF CHINA PLATINUM VISA DEBIT CARD PAYMENT YOU VALUED AT USD $7.5 MILLION ONLY.
We have been mandated by the Bank of England, United States Department of Treasury, and other Financial World bodies to pay out fund/entitlement by Platinum Atm Visa Debit Card. This procedure is to check mate fraudulent payment procedure by some official and delay of payment to beneficiary.
Irrevocable credit and release of fund will be paid through "BANK OF CHINA LONDON" Automated Teller Machine ATM PLATINUM VISA DEBIT CARD. Your name, e-mail and other personal information are still reflecting on our central data base system as the beneficiary of the fund which was delayed or kept pending
We have been mandated to take over the payment procedure and ensure your fund is release to you without further delay. We have resolved to implement the use of the Platinum Atm Visa Debit Card, introduced by the Bank of England to prevent and check fraudulent method of payment and at the same time facilitate the irrevocable and immediate release of your Payment to you.
In this proposed payment scheme, the said funds has been credited and programmed already into the new Platinum Atm Visa Debit Card valued at (USD $7.5) Seven Million Five Hundred United States Dollars, and the Platinum Atm Visa Debit Card is available for pick up.
Your pin code and online account information attached to your ATM visa debit card will be released to you at the point of collection. Furthermore, your immediate response to this e-mail will facilitate the irrevocable release of your Platinum Atm Visa Debit card to you
We need you to provide the following information stated below for re-confirmation before we can send further details of the payment information to you:
1. YOUR FULL NAME.
2. YOUR ADDRESS
3. OFFICE OR RESIDENTIAL TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
4. ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION FOR PROPER IDENTIFICATION.
Further more you are advised to contact the protocol officer (Mr. Robert Barr by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) in charge for the release of your Platinum Atm Visa Debit Card, with the above required information for confirmation
NB: Time is no longer in your favor; you should contact Robert Barr immediately you receive this e-mail so that your Platinum Atm Visa Debit card can be released to you
We look forward to hear from you.
Mrs Debbie Cole