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:
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- +448712341439 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "HALIFAX BANK PLC UK" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 12:28:26 +0530
Subject: =======HALIFAX BANK PLC UK OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION========
HALIFAX BANK PLC UK
P O Box 548, LEEDS LS1 IWU...
LONDON, E14 5HP. UNITED KINGDOM.
Union Pay/ATM Compensation Payment Notification
Urgent Attention Dear Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that the Halifax Bank Union Pay settlement Committee and the ATM International Inc. wishes to congratulate you on the successful emergence in our ongoing fund remittance promo of all ATM card users around the globe. This scheme was initiated by the C.U.P and the ATM Inc. to compensate ATM card users and also to help the world in the sustainable 2013 poverty alleviation scheme. In regards to this, we wish to inform you that your ATM compensation funds valued at 500,000.00GBP has been authorized to be released to you through our corresponding financial institution in London, United Kingdom.
London Union Pay is a leading operator approved by British's Welfare Lottery Center to develop and operate real-time electronic paperless lottery services in United Kingdom and around the globe, in accordance with the rules and regulations set by London's Welfare Lottery Center as a result of a joint development effort by the British Union Pay and the ATM inc to all ATM card users worldwide. You are hereby requested to contact the office of our remittance agent Mr. David Mark via email: email@example.com and telephone with details giving below with your personal details for immediate procession of worn fund.
1. Full Name
2. Phone and Fax Number
3. Address Were You Want Them to Send the ATM Card to (P.O Box Not Acceptable),
4. Your Age and
5. Current Occupation
7. Email ID
You are hereby requested to send all detail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that because of impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (ATM-3019) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the card centre by using it as your subject. Now contact our ATM centre Manager for more details. We Wait for Your Expedite Response.
Yours in Service,
Dr. Mark David
Online Promotion Announcer