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:
- "atm card department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "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)
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA <email@example.com>
Reply-To: UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:25:04 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Attention My Dear:
Â Attention My Dear:I Mr. Philip Oduoza (MANAGER OF UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA) I Just received a call from Mr. Martin Joe, the Director Of UBA ATM CARD Department office saying that the ($4.2Million Dollars)cash payment winning fund which I sent to you through ATM CARD have returned back due to wrong address provided, They need you to Â reconfirm your information below:
Your Fully Name--------Your Home Address------------Your Mobile Phone Number------------A Copy Of Your ID------------Your Age/Sex-----------------Your Country----------------Your State-------------------Your City-------------------Your Occupation------------
Contact Director of UBA ATM CARD Department office;
Mr. Martin Joe,Â Tel: +229 99315203Â Email:(email@example.com)Â Your registration codes (GL-1416), use it as your subject when contacting them, thanks and have a nice day.
Best RegardMr. Philip OduozaMANAGER UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA