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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: william Eeden <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 11:41:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: REPAYMENT VISA DEBIT CARD $2.5M USD
REPAYMENT VISA DEBIT CARD $2.5M USD
We hereby officially notifying you about the present arrangement to pay you, your over due contract/inheritance fund through (Master ATM Card) This arrangement was initiated/constituted by the World Bank and Paris Club, due to fraudulent activities going on within the African Region. The World Bank and Paris Club introduced this payment arrangement as to enable our contractors/inheritance beneficiary to receive their fund Without any interfference.the Master ATM Card was contracted and powered by GOLD CARD WORLD WIDE.
Reconfirm the following information to us for Security reason.
1) YOUR FULL NAME.
2) YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS.
3) YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4) YOUR PROFESSION.
Upon the receipt of this mail we are going to load your fund into the
Master ATM Card and send a scan copy of the card to you before we will Proceed to dispatch the card directly to your nominated home address so you absolutely have nothing to worry about all we need is your Prompt
Response and Co-operation by Gods Grace we will have a successful
We are waiting for your immediate response.
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE