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 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)
- "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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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: Stephen West wood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Stephen West wood <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:44:02 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: get back to me your atm master card is ready
Greetings Approved Beneficiary,
Your name and your contact details was given to this office in respect of your total inherited compensation sum owed to you which you have failed to claim because of either non-compliance of official processes or because of your unbelief of the reality of your genuine payment.
We wish to bring to you the solution to this problem right now,You are hereby notified that your Inheritance Contract Payment of Four Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars $4.5 M has been Approved to be made to you through United bank for Africa ATM Visa Â Card.The debit card can be used on any ATM machine all over the world or you can go to your bank to off-load the funds.
We will approved United Bank for Africa International ATM Visa Card on your favor that will be credited with $4.5 Million United states dollars, before it is been sent to you direct to your doorstep which you are to use in accessing your fund in any ATM Stand location worldwide, our cash card will give you access for amount of withdraw via internet or any cash ATM machine in the world at maximum of $1,500 per day. It's easy to manage even with custom options to suit your particular business needs worldwide, Our cash card is available to transfer or withdraw money through our ISP online transfer, withdraw banking system anywhere you are in the world and you are also given an option to transfer funds from your ATM card to your local bank account.
If you like to receive your fund this way, kindly contact me with the following informationâsÂ
Full name:Full mailing info:Your cell phone line:Country:Age and genderOccupation
We have been mandated by the ECOWAS parliament to issue out the sum of $4.5 million in your favor this fiscal year so be informed that all the necessary arrangement of processing your fund of US $4.5 M into ATM Visa Card that will be dispatched to your designated address for your use in making daily withdrawals will be made as soon as we hear from you
We are here to serve you better.Regards,Stephen West wood,Office Phone: 00229 68163365