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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "money-gram" (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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: Jenet Dibor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Jenet Dibor <Jenetdiborza@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:42:09 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Good News for your ATM card of $7.500,000 USD
After our meeting with head office Today morning as i told you last week, they asked me what is the cost of the delaying of delivery of your ATM CARD of $7.5 Million since then till today again, Then i told them that the fee is still the problem, Now they said that, they want to know how serious you are before helping you, And they ask you to send only $65 for register of your ATM CARD for urgent delivery, so that we can take care of the delivery fee? then after you receive your ATM CARD you will send the needed fee back.
Please be a wear that you have only but three (3) days to send the $65 or your delivery will be cancel and deposit to charity, So if you can hear my advise just make sure that you send the $65 Today as soon as you receive this mail.
Here is the information where to send the $65 as soon as you receive this mail before it will be late okay. Please send it by Western Union or Money-Gram both of them is good for urgent proceed.
Receivers Name: RAPHAEL EJOH
Location: Benin Republic
Text Question: VERY
Text Answer: URGENT
THANKS AND AWAITING FOR THE PAYMENT INFORMATION AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MAIL.
Call me now +229-6123-5257