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 united states 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 has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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.
- +447010058684 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr.John Mark <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:53:15 +0530
Investigation revealed that you have received Lot of Payment Notification with requests to secure funds Transfer Documents, Pay Diplomatic fees, Transfer Charges etc, yet all effort to receive the Compensation/Lottery payment lawfully entitled to you, have been to no avail.
With the help of the best Internet investigators, The International Monetary Funds IMF have taken out time in screening through your Compensation/Lottery payment project as stipulated on our protocol of operations. Prior to series of reports (Email, Fax, Telephone and Mail Post) from beneficiaries across Asia, Europe, America just to mention a few, urging us to investigate these irregularities, Special International Dept Settlement Officers attached to this honorable Institution, The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI was deployed to various Compensation payment Centers around the world so as to carry out proper. Your Impending payment is overdue with all funds release arrangements in place.
The first Batch of payment; Two million five hundred thousand United States dollars, Credited to Master-card Account No. 5148654789406543 with serial Numbers 2419879 and Reg. No. MCIMJ : 5148/4178 with a daily withdrawal Limit of Ten thousand United States dollars $10,000.00 was approved to be issued to you as a valid International ATM Master-card acceptable in more than a million ATM over 210 countries around the World. This ATM card has being approved to be delivered to your doorstep via Registered Courier, no Hidden Charges because all freight/delivery fees have been paid.
However, kindly note this; Under normal circumstances, all beneficiaries are mandated to travel over to Master-card Regional office located at 10 Upper Bank Street Canary Wharf London E14 5NP with valid identification to sign the release documents in person, but the International Monetary Funds (IMF) have advised that all beneficiaries should simply secure a Non Appearance Approval (NAA) as to cut-short traveling expenses. The NAA ascertains the release and subsequent delivery of the Master-card without having you travel over for the signatory of the released documents and attracts a fee of Four hundred and
eighty British pounds sterling only (GBP 480.00) which is to be paid by the beneficiary in question.
A press conference on Overdue Payment would be broad-casted live on National TV today at 8:am EST- Eastern Standard Time, this should serve as an Official Notification to you to make contacts with Master-card International for claims, with the (GBP 480.00) Non Appearance Approval fees.
The sole Approved Master-card Claims Administrator Contact information is indicated below. Having said all this, we advise that you stop further communication with any other individual, office or persons.
For further inquiries do contact your claims Administrator.
5.DATE OF BIRTH/AGE:
8.COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE:
9. MOBILE NUMBERS:
Email Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org