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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Thomas Curry <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Thomas Curry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:19:01 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attn Dear
This is to inform you that we have been working towards the eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Africa with the help of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and FBI.
We have been able to track down some scam artist in various parts of African countries which includes (Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana and Senegal with cote d'ivoire ) and they are all in Government custody now, they will appear at International Criminal Court (ICC) soon for Justice.
During the course of investigation, they were able to recovered some funds from these scam artists and IMF organization have ordered the funds recovered to be shared among the 10 Lucky people listed around the World as a compensation. This notice is been directed to you because your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file and computer hard-disk while the investigation, maybe you have been scammed. You are therefore being compensated with sum of $2.4Millon US Dollars valid into an (ATM Card Number 506119102227445160).
Since your email address is among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation funds, we have arranged your payment to be paid to you through ATM VISA CARD and deliver to your postal address with the Pin Numbers as to enable you withdrawal maximum of $5,000 on each withdrawal from any Bank ATM Machine of your choice, until all the funds are exhausted.
The ATM Card with Security Pin Numbers shall be delivered to you via courier Service, depending your choice.
The package is coming from Cotonou, Republic of Benin. don't forget to reconfirm your following information.
1. Your Full Name:
2. Address Where You want us to Send Your ATM Card
3. Cell/Mobile Number:
We advice you to stop all the communications with everyone regarding your payment as we have short listed to deliver to you and now urge you to comply and receive your ATM Card funds.
Thanks for your understanding as you follow instructions while I wait to hear from you today.
Yours in Services
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