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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million united state 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Adams Catt" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 17:41:42 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: With Due high opinion.
Attn, With Due high opinion.
How are you doing today, hope all is well with you? We are hereby writing to inform you that your Compensation part payment of $4.9 Million United State Dollars which was instructed by The Economic Community of The Zenith Bank Plc are sorry for the delay of your payment $4.9M and all the Inconveniences.However, the organization of Z.Bank Plc are to use this opportunity to inform you that we are very surprised to see that you have not received and confirmed your funds since it has been approved for payment to you since last year 2012/2013.
We put pen to paper to advise you that your ATM Worldwide visa Card has been credited with your Funds of $4.9 Millions and we are sorry for the stoppage in contacting you all this while. The fund was issued to you as a consequence of your delayed contract part Payment and also as a legacy award to you and it is ready for use now, therefore you will be advised to stop any further Contact with any Office in base on receiving your funds okay. You are required to provide Z.Bank plc ATM subdivision with your information as stated below:
Your Full Name:
Your Delivery Address:
Your Working Mobile Line or telephone number:
Contact Person; Rev Henry Yukon Mobile Phone Number; +234-8163-880-639 try to call him immediately.
In regarding the releasing of your funds that credited in ATM Worldwide visa Card to you is your responsibility to take care of the charges to able the manager Rev. Henry Yukon to help you to proclaim your paper works that will back you up on your behalf for the claiming. Please take note your are going to take care of the charges before forwarding your information). You are advice to contact the Manager Rev. Henry Yukon of Z.Bank ATM subdivision via his Email :( firstname.lastname@example.org) for the release of your ATM VISA CARD immediately.
Z.Bank Foreign Department Office.
Mr. Adams Catt.