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:
- "registration 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. )
- "million 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)
- 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: coris Bank International <email@example.com>
Reply-To: coris Bank International <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:23:31 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Coris Bank International Transaction Alert Service
Coris Bank International Transaction Alert Service
We have being instructed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance Benin republic to pay off your contract bond worth $10million dollars the funds through ATM Card without any delay because World Bank has credited your account under the Coris Bank International and you will be receiving Transaction Alert Service on your cell phone and kindly reconfirm the below information to enable us dispatch your ATM card:Your Full Name:Â Address:Your Age:Occupation:Cell/Mobile Number:
And also you are require to send little money for the registration and no additional fee required only the registration fee contact us for the information on the below information:
Sir. Â CJ FelixDirector Coris Bank International (Visa Incorporation Benin)Contact Email: (email@example.com)Direct Office lines: +229-6139-2943 or +229-6867-2419