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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "San. Henry Smith" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "San. Henry Smith" <MOGURU1@blumail.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:10:16 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
Subject: Compliment of the season today been 17TH of January 2012
of the season today been 17TH of January 2012 we the federal high court of Benin
republic have decide to release every fund which is here in our country
Benin republic after the meeting we held with the President of this
Great Country Dr Yayi Boni, Federal Ministry Of Finance and also with
the Board Of Directors for the immediate transfer of all fund which of
here in our country before the year runs out.
Meanwhile we have decide to move all the fund which foreigners has in
this country to Managing Director of Bank Of Africa Here Benin Republic
Rev. Prof. Mohamed Guru to take in charge of all fund here and you are
advised to contact him with your full contact information to verify that
you are the right owner of the fund.
After the meeting we agree that the Beneficially has to use the easer
way he want to use to receive his/her fund and we give you three option
to use because it is the only way we have conclude to use to the
transfer to avoid complain of been scam or not.
THERE ARE THE THREE WAY YOU ARE ADVISED TO CHOOSE
1. BANK TO BANK TRANSFER
2. WESTERN UNION TRANSFER
3. COURIER DELIVERY
Contact Person..........Rev. Prof. Mohamed Guru
Phone Number............+229 99481902
So you are advise to contact the person in charge of your fund Rev. Prof
Mohamed Guru and tell him among the three option the one you choose and
also you have to know that you are going to send him $95 to renew your
file and it is the only money you will send till you receive your fund,
you are also advise to stop every other communication you are having any
where to avoid mistake to fall into scammer hand again remember to
contact him with information below.
Your Full Name……………………….
Try to get back to us as soon as you contact them and also remember that
the only money you are advice to send to them is only $95 for Renew of
your file and proceed with your request in the three options.
San. Henry Smith
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