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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. James Hill" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 17:44:28 +0100 (BST)
Subject: ATTENTION: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION,
ATTENTION: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION,
This is to bring you notice that i have register your ATM CARD with the GLOBAL MAX COURIER COMPANY.And the ATM CARD 's value is $2.5 millions united state dollars,The delivery fee has not been paid because they refused to accept it but i paid their official keeping fee,Reasons for their refusal is because they do not know when you are going to contact them,So that is reason why i did not pay for the delivery fee.
I deposited it Friday been 24th August 2012 for immediate delivery ,so i want you to contact them urgently to avoid lossing the ATM CARD.
Call DR. PAUL OMENKA .
This is the information needed for easy delivery of your ATM CARD.
1.YOUR FULL NAME_,
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS_,
3.YOUR PHONE AND CELL NUMBER_,
4.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE_,
6. YOUR AGE
So as soon as you recieved your ATM CARD do let me know ok,
Mr. James Hill