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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ben M. Amosu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr. Ben M. Amosu" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 09:15:53 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: YOUR ATM VISA CARD IS READY!!!
ECOWAS Union has instructed Eco Bank for Africa ( EBA) to
Fund $7.5Million dollar into ATM VISA CARD to send to you
Eco Bank for Africa has credited your fund $7.5Million dollar
and the ATM VISA CARD will be send to you through DHL courier
as soon as you send the requested information to Director
Mrs.Denise .Williams for the
Send your contact information to them as below to delivery your
VISA CARD to you.
1.Valid delivery Address
.2. Full Names
.3. Phone Number
.4.Your ID or passport.
.5.your age and occupation.
This is your registration code (DHJKT00678G)
Ben M. Amosu
Director of ATM VISA CARD