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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Zenith Bank Ltd" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 09:00:38 +1000
Subject: Good Day.
This is Zenith Bank PLC, we have successfully processed your International Certified ATM Card with which you can withdraw your funds value at One Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$1.700,000.00) bit by bit from ATM Machine in all part of the World until the expiration of the Bank ATM Card in February 2013. This fund is deposited by the newly establish office of the United States and European Union Home Affairs Commission Lagos Nigeria for compensation to all scam victims.
Please take note that cash withdrawals in this ATM Card is minimum of $1000 in anyone instance and a maximum of $5000 in a single day.
Your ATM Card will be delivered to you by the Bank officialcourier Company, Federal Diplomatic Express Services a Courier/Delivery Service Company; with AirWaybill Receipt-7842974786..as soon as you provide details of your Home Address..which you desire it to be delivered to..bear in mind you will also pay the cost of the Shipment to your Destinated Home Address..
Inside the ATM Card parcel is a sealed mailer with your 4-digits Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your withdraws, I strongly advise that you change the PIN immediately you receive your parcel and do not disclose your PIN to anyone under any circumstances, not even to cashiers at payment points.
Please contact the Federal Diplomatic Express Services by email and phone below for the delivery of your Visa ATM Card now;
Federal Diplomatic Express Services
Mr. Wyse Roland, Manager,
International Shipment and Logistics Department.