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:
- "insurance fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: "DR DAVID MOON" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:25:44 -0500
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD OF (7.5M) URGENT DELIVER TO YOU??
This is to bring to your notice that orders given by the Presidency and the entire house of senate for the year 2014 is that my bank is the chosen bank to pay out all foreign contract/inheritance funds.My bank was ordered after meeting held in the presidential village to contact and proceed with payment of your contract/inheritance Funds by informing you that the former bank in charge of your payment via ATM card being,Zenith Bank,Union Bank,Eco Bank, ETC is no longer in charge of this payment.
I wish to inform you that you're (7.5M)outstanding payment has been approved and ready to be paid but we want to confirm first from you by giving you our mode of payment this arrangement was agreed between the Presidency and the Senate committees so take note that we have three modes of Payment delivery via ATM CARD:
DHL COURIER COMPANY
( insurance fee: $98)
( 1 day delivery )
FedEx COURIER EXPRESS
( insurance fee:$179)
( 3 days delivery )
UPS COURIER SERVICE
( insurance fee:$98)
( 2 days delivery )
Also reconfirm your full information's such as
Your Full Name:
Your Cell Phone Number
You are required to proceed to MONEY GRAM and make the payment of the insurance fee of your ATM CARD while the shipping fee will be given to the Agent once he arrive to your country.
Receivers Name for the insurance fee
Receivers name==== CHIDOZIE LATIMO
Country ========== LAGOS-NIGERIA
Text Question ==== FROM?
Answer =========== YOU
You are expected to provide the needed information correctly to avoid mistake during the delivery by any chosen courier service of your choice,furthermore,you are advice to stop all contact with any office,organization or individual claiming to be in charge of your fund,After following the instructions above you will receive your ATM CARD without any delay,feel free to call me for oral discussions.I will require you to get back to this office with your decision over a Chosen mode of payment and we will take it from there,
Your urgent response will be highly appreciated
DR DAVID MOON
CELL NUMBER: +2348161113834