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:
- "cheque " (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.
- 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.
- +22996001496 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: "Hon Dr Abbas Danladi" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 01:42:10 +0100
Subject: YOUR CONVERTED CASHIER'S CHEQUE INTO ATM-CARD
How are you today, I hope all is well .Be informed that due to your delay , the CASHIER'S CHEQUE worth of US$850,000.00 was converted into ATM-Card which you can withdraw in any ATM Cash Point Machine Worldwide have been programmed by the issuing bank .Note that the issuing bank has package the ATM CARD with the secret code and registered it with FEDEX EXPRESS. Also you will be withdrawing sum of US$5,000.00 per day.Therefore, quickly contact FEDEX COMPANY with bellow information:
Director: Mr.Kelly Brown.
Email addres: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tele phone: +229 96 00 14 96
The only money you have to send to FEDEX COMPANY is only US$185.00, according to the director of the issuing bank for the smooth delivery of your package to your door step. Also you should refirm your full NAME, ADDRESS, TELE PHONE NUMBER AND DRIVER'S LIC OR PASSPORT to them to avoid wrong delivery.
Hon Dr Abbas Danladi