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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Bernard Obi" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 May 2011 18:49:03 -0700
Subject: LONG OVER DUE PAYMENT ON YOUR NAME AND FAVOR.
LONG OVER DUE PAYMENT ON YOUR NAME AND FAVOR.
I am Dr. Bernard Obi. a director with the Federal Ministry of Finance and was instructed by the hon. Minister of finance to find out before the end of this month, why your contract payment fund valued $5Million United states dollars contract part payment still unclaimed. However, their are two gentlemen here who came from your country to claim this inheritance fund on your behalf and the reason giving to us is that you are the one who sent them that you are terminal sick is that true?.
In this regard, kindly reconfirm your personal information to us for proper identification, and to know if you are the one that sent them for the claim.
Bellow are the informations that you are to reconfirm to my office immediately.
1) Your full name.......................
2) Your phone number, cell phone mobile#.......................
3) Your address..............................
4) Your occupation/position........................
Upon the proper identification, the hon. Minister of finance will immediately sign the approval letter and refer you to our diplomatic agent who will be delivering to you your total amount of $5million dollars by ATM MASTER CARD so that you can be able to cash it over there, also a pin code will be emailed to you once you have received the ATM CARD for security reasons, just get back to us ASAP to let us know if you sent any one here to claim your ATM CARD or not.
NOTE: You are to pay the sum of ($125.00) for the delivery of your ATM CARD and as soon as you send the fees to Mr. Martins Adebayo he will instruct the courier agent to send out your ATM CARD to your destination home address you will provide to him and also send you the delivery tracking number to know when the ATM CARD will be deliver to you.
Please make sure you get back to us with the requested details above so that we can start processing your ATM CARD for immediate delivery to your residential home address.
Our desire is to serving you better. Waiting your urgent reply via my official email.
Name: Mr. Martins Adebayo
Contact Email: email@example.com
Or call him on +234-802-795-7521
Dr. Bernard obi
External Debt management official desk 2010/2011.