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:
- "processing fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mr James Ejim" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2010 09:11:07 +0100
Subject: CONTACTJAMES EJIM ATM OFFICE +229 998 917 81
This is to notify you that we have arranged your payment of $2.5 Million USD through swift card payment centre Asia pacific,this card centre will send you an ATM card which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world at the maximum rate of $10,000.00 us dollars (Ten Thousand United State Dollars) per day.
Therefore do not hesitate to contact ATM depertment Oceanic Bank Benin Republic PLC and also re-confirm the following information as listed below:
1.YOUR FULL NAME:
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS:
3.YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER:
4.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE:
6.AGE AND GENDER
Forward the above inforamation to: Mr.Anthony Walter (Director of Foreign ATM Division Oceanic Bank Benin Republic PLC.+229 99891781, E-mail:(firstname.lastname@example.org).
Meanwhile, you have to Contact them immediately and the only money you have to send to received your Card from them is the processing fee $60.00 only to received your Card from the Department ok.
Immediately you contact them you get back and let us know.Thanks & God Bless.