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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: "Mr,Fabulous Paul" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 12:10:19 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Your ATM Card
This is to bring you notice that i have register your ATM CARD to the DHL COURIER SERVICE.And the card's value is $2.8 millions united state dollars,so The delivery charges has been paid but i did not pay their official keeping fees since they refused.Reasons for their refusal is because they do not know when you are going to contact them because the keeping fee is $69 dollars per a day,and i deposited it yesterday been 16th May 2012 So that is reason why i did not pay for keeping fee and that is only you are going to pay them,so i want you to contact urgent to avoid increase of their keeping fee.
DHL DIRECTOR GENERAL MR.ERIC JOHN.
Dhl Director General Mr.Eric John..Call me on +229-6631-3372.
Here is the informations to send the remaning $69.00 through western union below:
Receiver's name: Obuka Emmanuel
Country.: benin republic
This are the information needed for easy delivery of your CARD.1.YOUR FULL NAME_____,2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS______,3.YOUR PHONE AND CELL NUMBER____,4.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE____,5.YOUR AGE/SEX______,6.YOUR COUNTRY_____So as soon as you recieved your card do let me know ok,