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:
- "central bank of nigeria" (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.
- 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: "NIGERIA EMBASSY,UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 13:05:56 -0800
Subject: NIGERIA EMBASSY,UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ATM MASTER CARD SHIPMENT.
Consulate General of Nigeria.
828,Second Avenue,New York,NY 10017,United States.
Office of Prof. Adebowale Adefuye.
Nigeria Ambassador to United States.
Tel: 212 (8080301)
Attn: ATM Master Card Beneficiary.
This is to inform your officially that our Defence attache here in the Nigeria Embassy New York United States has brought your uploaded ATM MASTER GOLD CARD valued at the sum of US$4.5Million on Friday last week from Nigeria,the Gold MASTER Card was programmed and uploaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria through the Nigerian Security Print and Mint Company and was handed over to our defence attache by Mr President Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr.Good luck Jonathan GCFR for onward hand over to me as the Country's representative here in US,our defence attache who just came back yesterday from Nigeria with it and has handed them over to me as the Nigeria Ambassador for United States of America for onward delivery to your home or office address in your country from NY here in United States which you have to reconfirm to our Embassy for urgent delivery.
Note this Embassy will courier your ATM GOLD MASTER Card from our Embassy here through Express Courier to your address at no cost of yours hence we will pay the courier fees from NY here to your address either here in the United States or outside the United States which you have to send to us immediately you receive this letter,your email address and name is attached on the parcel containing your Master Card and that is why we are able to contact you through your email as sent to us yesterday by the Finance Director in Nigeria.Note that this funds is accrued to you based on your Inheritance/Lotto/Contract benefits as approved by the United Nations for immediate payment.
Sequel to the above you are urgently requested to contact the Director of Finance in the Office of Mr.President in Nigeria and ask him to release to you immediately your Activated PIN Code Numbers of your ATM GOLD MASTER CARD which you will use to make withdrawal once you receive your card through our Embassy here in NY,this is a Presidential Instructions attached on your parcel by Mr.President in other not to release your Pin Codes to the defence Attache who may tamper with it,so call the Finance Director in the Presidency on his direct mobile number +234-8090718221,his name is Dr.Anderson Smith,please don't waste any time immediately you get this letter so that he only will release your PIN CODE Password details as he cannot release that to me or another person rather you the ATM GOLD card beneficiary,his email id is: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to write to him though is not necessary as it will be better you give him an urgent call as we have to send your card
to you as quickly as possible fro
Note: You will send to the Finance Director in the Presidency Dr.Anderson Smith the sum of US$295 ONLY(Two Hundred and Ninety Five Dollars) which is the cost for the Activations PIN Code Password fees,that is the only amount you will send to him before he will release your CODE to you,send to our embassy your accurate receiving address here in United States where you want us to send your card to and at our own cost and not you,please for urgency i will suggest you call the gentleman on phone so that he will act fast as this transactions demands.
Update our Embassy as requested.
Prof. Adebowale Adefuye.
Nigerian Ambassador to United States