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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "ATMCARD PAYMENT DEPT." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 05:02:49 -0300
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH ATM CARD,WRITE BACK TO US,,
Global Payments Inc.
51 De Montfort Street
This is to inform you that your payment has been approved this Morning through our Escrow account with BARCALYS BANK LONDON-UNITED KINGDOM via BARCLAYS ATM Credit Card. We will send you an ATM card which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world.
This ATM card payment center has been mandated to pay you the sum of US$3,500,000.00.(Three Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars)
Note: because of impostors, you are required to use this code (ATM-007) as your subject when contacting this payment center. Clearly state your full names, cell phone, fax number and delivery address where you want the card to be delivered to you. Send your response to this office email.
All the relevant payment approvals/letter of administration shall be issued to you for your acknowledgement.
Thanks for your cooperation while you comply urgently.
Dr. Chris Lucas
Global Payments Inc.