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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- avenue, nw washington, d.c. 20535-0001, usa email@example.com we bring to your notice that your atm card is ready to be (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "JAMES B. COMEY" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2014 16:59:02 +0100
Subject: RE:FBI ONLINE ATM ALERT
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.
We Bring to your notice that your atm card is ready to be issued to you for your onward payment because the FBI in conjuction with the world bank and international monetary funds reached aggreement with the MR MICHEAL GREEN, the director DHL in Nigeria to release the ATM CARD to your without any delays.
However, we have finalised every arrangement to make sure he sends out the ATM CARD to you through DHL so that you can start withdrawing from any ATM MACHINE close to you.Also the ATM CARD is containing the sum of $5.5m which you will be withdrawing a maximum of $10,000 per day until the total funds is withdrawn from the ATM CARD.
In this view you are to contact MR MICHEAL GREEN IMMEDIATELY WITH THESE DETAILS:
Name: Mr. Micheal Green
direct 24hours security line:+234-70-860-811-83
Upon the receipt of this message kindly send him your information to deliver the ATM CARD.
Contact him right now because we have cleared the delivery cost leaving behind the insurance cost which is the only fee you will required to pay for him to deliver the shipment.
MR JAMES B. COMEY