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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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 (Rocketmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.VICTOR DIABSON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 14:58:22 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Attn: My Dear Customer.
Attn: My Dear Customer.
I am Dr. James Brawn, the chairman, fund recovery committee (FRC) we have actually been authorized by the international monetary fund (IMF) based on 2012 financial re-form and instruction for payment mandate for all unclaim funds worldwide. And the governing agent here, the board of Uba Bank (boa) to investigate the unnecessary delay of your payment, recommend and approve your claims for payment if certified as genuine.
During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of the bank who are trying to divert your money into their private accounts. We are happy to inform you that based on our commendation/instructions; your entire inheritance value of ($8.200.000.00) eight million two hundred thousand us dollars has been credited in your favor through bank atm visa card which you can withdraw in any atm cash point machine worldwide through atm payment center mode, but the maximum amount you will be receiving is ($6000 dollars) every day. You are therefore advised to contact Mr. MR.VICTOR DIABSON the Director of the international audit unit atm payment center.
CONTACT PERSON: MR.VICTOR DIABSON,
Director: Atm Payment Office.
Please my dear as soon as you receive the atm visa card from UBA BANK let me know to have your pin code. Note: you should furnish Mr. Victor Diabson with your correct contact information to enable them to send your atm card immediately.
1. Your full name.................
2. Your country.......................
3. Your home address................
4. Your current telephone number.................
5. Your passport I.d card.........
Thanks For Your Co.Operation