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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million us 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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "MR. GANU YAKUBU" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 19 May 2011 18:19:40 -0500
Subject: URGENT REPLY NEEDED FROM YOU.
Attn; My Dear,
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your Bank Draft but did not heard from you since that time then I went and deposited the Draft with INTERNATIONAL Bank Plc there in Benin Republic, because I travelled to Japan to see my boss and will not come back till next 3 month end. I have arranged with them to make your payment to you with their new ATM MASTER CARD $2.5million us dollars which you can use to withdraw your money like $5,000.00 usd per every day by day in any ATM MACHINE around the globe. You have to contact the International Bank Plc with your full contact information such as follows;
1. YOUR FULL NAME......
2. YOUR HOME ADDRESS ..........
3 PHONE /CELL PHONE .............
4. YOUR AGE............
5. CURRENT OCCUPATION .........
6. ATTACH COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION ....
However, Kindly contact him below person because he is the person who is in position to release YOUR ATM CARD. REV DR.PAUL WILLIAMS DIRECTOR, ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT INTERNATIONL BANK MOBILE:+229-9983-9950
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com I have paid for the processing and delivery charges. The only Money that your are going to pay to them is only $96 Dollars which they will use to obtain an Affidevit Of Onwership from the Federal High Court Of Benin Republic.
Please Try to contact them and ask them how you will send the $96 to receive your atm card, please do urgent and contact them as soon as possible to quicken the processing of your Card before your draft gets Expired . Let me know as soon as you receive your Atm Card of $2.5million us dollars.
Mr. Ganu Yakubu.