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)
- 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 (Yahoo, Brazil; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Philip Odu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2012 18:10:06 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Attn;My Dear,
is to bring you notice that i have register your ATM VISA CARD with DHL
COURIER .And the card's value is $1.5 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 $45 dollars per a day.
And i deposited it yesterday being
26th December 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 them
urgent to avoid increase of their keeping fee.
Contact Mr. Morgan David DHL DIRECTOR GENERAL
This are the information needed from you 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____,
So as soon as you received your card do let me know okay,This is an urgent and such your immediate respond will do you good.
Mr. Oduoza Philip