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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Vivian Noni" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Vivian Noni" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:56:46 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD IS READY FOR DELIVERED!!!!!
YOUR ATM CARD IS READY FOR DELIVERED!!!!!
This is Mrs. Vivian Noni, The Director of DHL Courier company Benin Republic Please I want to notify to you this urgent massage which was brought by the Bank Manager that issue out your ATM Card Base on the massage which was received by the Bank They made me to understand that your ATM Master Card is now about to expire, The Bank said that your ATM Card will be expiring on next month So due to inability to come up with the security charge which is on high price has now come down so that you will meat up to raise the money today for the delivering this card to your base. Note, the Bank made me to understand that the ATM Master Card which is now under our Custody contain sum of $2.6million us dollars.
So right now I will urgently advice you to try and send your full information immediately so that I can use it to delivery your card, so that atm card Will now take off on Delivery first thing tomorrow morning please, you have to take this Matter very serious to avoid any hitch on your Card Please have to be very sorry, I never know that your Card contain sum of amount of money since and I have to blame you due to you really know that your Card contain such huge amount and you are there delaying since.
You are advised to include the followings below:
(1). Your Full Name:
(2). Your Direct home/ office Telephone Numbers:
(3). Your Current Home/ Office Address Address:
(4). Your nearest airport:
(5). A copy of your identity:
Please you have to try and get back to me now with your full information to enable our Agent carry out the Delivery first thing tomorrow morning as I stated above, so please my dear friend if you have any question use this number to call me and ask me +229 68656832 OK.
Thank you and have a nice day, I awaite for your urgent respond as soon as you received this email
Mrs. Vivian Noni