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:
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Ray Walte" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 24 May 2014 06:46:04 -0700
Subject: Your ATM CARD is well packaged
How are you? hope all is well with you and your family. I know that you might have forgotten about this your outstanding fund due to delaying the delivery up till now. I am writing to inform you that your file was found in our office today and we discovered that your cheque of $4.5 Million united state dollars have not been sent to you as it was instructed by our late boss Mrs. Victoria Ray.
We are very sorry for the mistake and the delaying, please bear with us because the fault is from our former secretary who did not complete the instruction giving by our woman. Note that your cheque has been convert into Master ATM Card to free it from Expiring. This is to inform you that the arrangement have made to deliver the $4.5 Million through ATM CARD to you the meeting is concluded last.
Your ATM CARD is well packaged with everything legal documents to cover it not having any problem with any Office Authority and we have waiting to hear from you since to deliver it to your home as soon as you contact us with you current information.
(1.) Your Full name,________________
(2.) Your home Address,______________
(3.) Your current telephone number,_________
(4.) A copy of your picture,_____________
(5.) Your age/sex,____________________
(6.) Your country,________________________
(7.) Your occupation,__________________
Therefore you should contact us now to avoid wrong delivery, after some days,you should contact the ATM Center Director on this below E-mail(email@example.com)
Contact Person; Dr.Daniela Frad
Tel: Phone Number; +229 6894 3553
Please try to call him immediately to know when Your ATM CARD will be deliver to you. I wait for your update as soon as you have receive your ATM CARD Package immediately.
God Bless You.
Mr Ray Walte