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:
- "cashiers check" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "OFAC)U.S Treasury Department"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 16:20:09 -0400
Subject: (OFAC)U.S Treasury Department
U.S Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control
(OFAC)U.S Treasury Department's
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
This email is to notify you about the release of your outstanding payment which is truly $15.500.000.00 USD. The New Prime Minister ( UK) scheduled a time frame to settle all foreign debts which includes Contract/Inheritance/ Gambling/ Lottery(Sponsored by Microsoft and National Lottery) and other international loans.News had it that over the past,numerous individual (s) who happen to be impostors (claiming to be individuals, banks and organizations) are claiming to release numerous sums of fund via numerous ways.
With the help of the (OFAC)U.S Treasury Department's and with the FBI we have noticed that people have being asked to pay outrageous amount of money by these impostors for the transfer of their funds to them. We want you to stop all communication that has to do with these fraudsters who have been requesting unreasonable sums of money from you to release your funds which they do not have access to.
We have received a mandate and instructions from the (OFAC)U.S Treasury Department's to commence the immediate release of your funds through one of the following payment options stated below depending on your choice:
1. Payment via Automatic Teller Machine (ATM card): This is where you will be sent an Automatic Teller Machine card with Pin also known as ATM card (A Master Card would be issued). Upon receipt of your custom ATM card you will be allowed to withdraw $10,000 per day by default and you are given the option to transfer funds from your ATM card to your bank account.
2. Certified Cashiers Check or Bank Draft: In this case you will be sent a certified bank draft or check signed in your favor which you will deposit in any bank for it to be cleared within 3 to 5 working days at most depending on your bank.
3. Online Banking ( Bank To Bank Transfer) to enable you process this operation, $185 Dollars is Required for opening for an online banking operation, that will enable you get access to your account Online.
Below are few list of tracking numbers you can track from FedEx and UPS website to confirm people like you whom have successfully received their payment safely.
Name : Mrs. Jeannie Michael: FedEx Tracking Number: 794588016471 (www.fedex.com/Tracking?cntry_code=us)%3cbr>
Name : Mrs. Vista Rayne Arnold: FedEx Tracking Number: 796925954101 (www.fedex.com/Tracking?cntry_code=us)%3cbr>
You are advised to select one out of the three options on how you wish to receive your $15.500.000.00 USD, Your Online Banking Acess or ATM card or Check/Bank Draft will be shipped via Courier Shipping Company and would get to you within 2 working days at most.
For international shipping as stated by our company We had to sign contract with Courier for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce from the actual $320.99 to $150.99 nothing more and no hidden fees of any sort.
You are advised to contact the Department's Officer responsible for the shipping of your Check or ATM card with the following information for shipping of your payment Check or ATM card.
Department's Officer: Ms. Terri Bradson
Email - Terribradson@one.co.il
And provide her with the following information:
Your full Name................
The Department's Officer Christine Louise Sermon will provide you with instructions on how you are to make payment of the $150.99 only for the shipping of your ATM card or Cashiers Check.
You are to adhere strictly to the instructions above for more information contact the Department's Officer.
Remember that you are not paying any fees extra no matter what. Once again note that the actual Courier Retail Price: $320.99 Your Price (Because of our contract signed): is now $150.99 ( $170.00 Savings!).
Ms. Terri Bradson