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:
- "million united states 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)
- 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: "DR. DAVID EDWARD" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 05:21:34 -0700
Subject: Your ATM Card is ready......Contact my secretary for the delivery!!!
How are you doing. Hope you have not forgotten me, I am Dr. David Edward the man
from West Africa who contacted you some time ago to assist me secure the release
of some money accrued from the over invoicing of a contract inheritance and Next
Of Kin that was awarded by my government some time ago during the time of the
formal president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Though you were not able to assist me conclude the transaction,I'm happy to
inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the
assistance and cooperation of a new partner from Brazil.
Presently I am in South Korea for investment projects with my own share of the
total sum. meanwhile, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist
me in transferring those funds, I made sure you are not left out of the benefit
of the transaction hence I kept aside for you sum of $7.5 Million United
States Dollars ATM CARD, I and my new partner agreed to compensate you with that
amount for all your past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter.
I appreciated your efforts at that time very much,so feel free and get in touch
with my secretary Mr. Paul Dara and instruct him on how to send the ATM CARD to
you.Please do make sure you reconfirm your full details to him.
Your Full Name:
Telephone Phone numbers:
Nearest Int. Airport to you :
lately you receive the ATM CARD so that we share the joy together after all the
sufferance at that time. In the moment,he will send the ATM CARD to you, So
call him immediately and let him Know you are from me okay, get in touch with my
secretary now and re-confirm your Information to him to avoid any mistakes in
Below is the contact of my secretary:
Name: Mr. Paul Dara
Contact Number: +234-802-684-4632
DR. DAVID EDWARD.
CEO, EDWARD ENGINEERING COMPANY.