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 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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- 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: JAMES HILLIMA <"www."@blue.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: JAMES HILLIMA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 22:33:58 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ATTN DEAR,
We have Finally Re-directed your payment fund $8.5Million Dollars today to our DIAMOND BANK PLC and now you have to Contact them because they are in charge of making online Transfer for you which you will be able to received it within 4days banking service.
Below is the e-mail their e-mail address, please contact them now because your money is with them now.
Director name JAMES HILLIMA ,
The Director of Foreign Remittance Diamond Bank Plc âCotonou Benin Rep.
Address: 203/282 Hospital Route Cotonou Benin Republic
Tel: +229 62718441 Telex: 53001 / 53120
Customer Care E-mail address (email@example.com)
Let us know immediately the transfer has been made, with all the sucess.
Mr. David Jack
FROM DIAMOND BANK PLC