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:
- "activation 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. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
- 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 (Yahoo, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "DR,MIKE IBE" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "DR,MIKE IBE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:45:19 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONTACT ATM DEPARTMENT FOR YOUR PAYMENT URGENTLY
Â Â GOOD DAY MY FRIEND.
How are you, and with your family,All the arragement is done about your ATM CARD,there is no problem again but i let you know that .Our ATM DEPARTMENT OFFICE Benin republic here are delivery your ATM MASTER CARD with very little amount If you are ready to receive it which can cost you $65 dollar only. Now i let you know that all your total Amount of your ATM CARD is ( $5.8 MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLAR ONLY ) so i let you know that to Activation fee of ATM CARD before is $200 dollar in any country in this world wide. but the COMMISSIONNER OF POLICE And MR IYA BONI PRESIDENCE of Benin republic held a meeting with there Cabinet the cocultion is that the activation of ATM CARD will be $65 dollar only. so if you know that you are ready to receive your ATM CARD contactThis email (email@example.com)and ask them where you can send the $65 dollar for activation fee of your ATM.
Remember that immediately the ATM CARD will delivery to you, every day you willWedrawl $3500 dollar until all your total ATM MASTER CARD will got finish.Immedately you receive this email call me here +229 99924579 Â for more explanation.
THANK YOU GOD BLESS.BEST REGARDDR,MIKE IBE, FROM ATM DEPARTMENT OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC.