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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Mrs.Susan Dansuki" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Susan Dansuki" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2015 09:59:23 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONTACT MY SECRETARY URGENT FOR YOUR COMPENSATION PAYMENTS
Â Dear Friend,
I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of Mr. Jos Piendra Pineda from Mexico, Presently I am in Mexico with my family for investment projects with my partner Mr. Jos Piendra Pineda, meanwhile I did not forget your past efforts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how.
As it standing now, all you need to do is toÂ contact my secretary ( Mr.Chidozie JohnÂ ) in Republic of BeninÂ and ask him to send you the ATM debit card worth the total sum of $2.500,000.00 USDÂ (TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS ) which I left on your behalf as your Compensation before traveling to Mexico with my family .KindlyÂ Contact him through his email address or telephone number as stated below.
Contact Person::MR. CHIDOZIE JOHN
Telephone ::Â +22968457314
mail address : email@example.com
ALSO MAKE SURE YOU FORWARD YOURÂ BELOW REQUIRED INFORMATION TO HIM
Your full name........
Your Postal address....
Your Telephone number.....
However, I appreciated your efforts at that time.therefore, feel free to get in touched with my secretary ( Mr.Chidozie John ) and instruct him where to send you the ATM debit card so that you can start making your withdrawals at any ATM machine around the world.Please do let me know immediately you receive the ATM card worth the sum of $2.500,000.00 USD which I kept for your compensation so that we can share the joy after all the suffers at that time.
Note: that at this moment, I am very busy here in Mexico because of the investment projects which me and my partner are having at hands, therefore, I will not be accessing my email every day, I had forwarded an instruction to my secretary on your behalf to release the ATM debit card worth the sum ofÂ $2.500,000.00 USDÂ with its PIN code to you as soon as you get in touch withÂ him.
Have a nice day and God bless you.