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 payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "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. )
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.williams ben" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr.williams ben" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:39:58 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Attn: Our Customer
Â Attn: Our CustomerÂ
The Ministry Of Finance Benin Republic was notify us your Email and your address as those that is paid to wrong people in Africa since past years and your fund still remain unclaimed and after meeting held on 12 Â of JAN 2015.Â
The Executive Governor of Ministry Of Finance Benin Republic Dr. Felix Martins has Instructed this UBA BANK Plc ATM Payment Department to code your total sum of US$10.5M.Usd into ATM VISA CARD for Easy delivery to your destination address for you to make use of your CARD in any ATM MACHINE around you.Â
Executive Governor of Ministry Of Finance Benin Republic Dr. Felix Martins has paid the delivery fee of your ATM VISA Card. He paid it because the ATM VISA Card of USD$10.5.million has no less than three WEEKS to expire and when it expires, the money will go into Government purse. Because you have paid a lot of money to wrong people which The Ministry Of Finance Benin Republic has decided to help you pay the money so that the ATM VISA Card will not expireÂ
In view of that the United Bank for Africa ATM Payment Department. The only Money Â your will then is re-activation fee Â which I don t know how much it will cost you for immediate used of your CARD and you will advised to contact then today and ask them how much it will cost so that your ATM VISA CARD will be re-activate and get it delivered to your home address through Diplomatic System without any further delay.Â
Please bear it in mind that there is no way the money can be deducted from the card because that is against the law and you should be informed that the ATM card and the pin code would be enclosed in the envelope and you can make. Withdrawals from the ATM CARD any moment you receive the parcel.Â
Â Reconfirm you delivery address to avoid wrong delivery. Â
1. YOUR FULL NAMES:...........Â 1 BENEFICIARY NAME:..........Â 2 YOU HOME ADDRESS:................Â 3 TEL PHONE:........Â 4 OCCUPATIONS:............Â 5 COUNTRY:.......Â 6 SEX:................Â
We are waiting to hear from you so that we can proceed with dispatching of your parcel without wasting time. Be rest assured that the re-activation fee Â is the only payment you will have to make for the delivery of the ATM card and nothing more Â
The ATM CARD re- activate charges is only thing delay we will immediately dispatch your parcel and email you with the DHL tracking numbers so as for you to be able to track your parcel online and know when it get to your home to receive it.Â
Yours faithful,Â Regards,Â Mr.williams benphone: +229-99351675Â firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Â