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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "insurance 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. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MD. OFFICE" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 21:07:26 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONTACTING US (#0455)
How are you today?
The Management of United Bank for Africa (U.B.A) Wishes to inform you that we are in Receipt of our ATM Card issued in your favor with cash amount of $4.7Million only, from FedEx and they told us to cancelled the ATM Card that you have refused to send the insurance fee which is US$89. So what is going on? You advise to Contact us now before it will be too late;
Contact Person / Mr.Philips OdouzaContact Email :(firstname.lastname@example.orgCall us immediately Tel: +229 68825115
Send also your contacts information to enable us process your Master Card fast, please hurry up this to avoid cancellation.
Your Full Name............Current Home Address.........Phone Number.........Home Telephone Numberâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦.
Note: Due to Impost-er, Please indicated this Code when contacting us (#0455).
Yours in serviceMr.Chris Vin.