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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. H. Salami" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 16:12:49 -0800
Subject: Payment verified and ready for release.
This is to acknowledge the receipt of Information received from the Nigeria Home Inheritance Department and Ministry of Internal Affair on the 18th of Nov, 2011.This was the result of inability to Claim your Funds, Ministry of Internal Affair mapped out $8.3Million USD As part payment for the Past Contract/Inheritance in the years with respect to the Provision Section 17 of Decree 114 of the 1999 Constitution.
I am directed to inform you that your Payment Verification and Confirmations is correct, therefore, we are happy to inform you that Arrangements has been concluded to effect your Payment as soon as possible. We hereby officially notifying you about the present arrangement to pay you, your over due contract/inheritance fund which you could not complete the process of the released of your transfer pin code through the Digitalized Payment System.
We have decided to pay your funds through (ATM International Debit Card) from a reputable bank in the United Kingdom. This arrangement was initiated/constituted by the World Bank and Paris Club, due to fraudulent activities going on within the African Region and in conjunction with the Present Administration of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, President and Commander-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his Crusade Against Corruption in Nigeria with other African Leaders. Re-confirm your details as below to avoid diversion of your (ATM International Debit Card)
1) YOUR FULL NAME
2) YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS.
3) YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER
4) YOUR PROFESSION
5) YOUR NATIONALITY
Upon the receipt of this mail we are going to load your funds into the ATM International Debit Card and you are required to provide to us your nominated home address so you absolutely have nothing to worry about all we need is your Prompt Response and Co-operation by Gods Grace we will have a successful Transaction.
Anticipating your earliest response to enable us serve you better.
Dr. H. Salami.