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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "activation 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. )
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
Fraud email example:
From: AJOVI KING <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 18:21:53 +0000
Subject: CONTACT AM BANK (MALAYSIA) FOR YOUR ATM MASTER CARD
Please contact Dr.Raja Armed in AM BANK Malaysia for your payment, It has been granted by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) deposit for you to receive it through ATM CARD. The Board of Directors, AM Bank (AMB) has ordered Foreign Payment Remittance Unit to issue you a CORPORATE new ATM VISA CARD where your payment will be uploaded, we got notice that your Payment has been uploaded today into this CORPORATE with new ATM VISA CARD and here Registration Number; (O188443126675).
So Contact them Below information ask for the Pin Code and they will instruct you on what you will do to get your payment because you will only pay for Activation fee to get your payment ATM Visa Card okay, Try to call them Tel: +60103658049 as soon as possible and We anticipating for your urgent respond once you receive the payment.
AM BANK MALAYSIA PLC
Contact Person: Dr.Raja Armed
Re-confirm and the needed info,
1.YOUR FULL NAME............
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS................
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER................
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE...............
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE OR DRIVER LICENSE................
6.AGE AND OCCUPATION..........
Yours in Service
Hon Dr.Ajovi King
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER BENIN REPUBLIC