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:
- 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:
- "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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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: MRS FAITH BONI <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: MRS FAITH BONI <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 00:30:35 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL
ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL
Zenith Heights Plot 87 Ajose
Adeogun Street,Cotonou Benin Republic
This is to bring your notice that,I have paid the re_activation fee and the delivery of your atm master card,I paid it because the ATM MASTER CARD code is 8119 and the $2.5 million inside the card has less than three days to expire,and when it expires the money inside will go into the government purse.
with that i have decided to help you pay the money so that the ATM MASTER CARD will not expire,because I know that when you get your ATM MASTER CARD definitely you must pay me back my money and even compensate me for helping you.
Now i want you to contact UPS DELIVER COMPANY with your full delivery information's such as
Youâre home address
Youâre Tel phone number
include your ID Card
so that they can deliver your ATM MASTER CARD to your designated home address without any more delay.like i stated early the delivery charges has been paid but i did not pay their official keeping charges since they refused,and they did it because they do not know when you are going to contact them and the dummorage might have increase,they told me that their keeping charges is $85,per day and i deposited it yesterday been the 21TH of June 2015.call him as soon as you receive this email.Below is their contact Information's
Contact person: MR JERRY LEO,
UPS DELIVERY COMPANY
Phone number: +229 9875 5787
contact them today to avoid increase of their official keeping fee.and let me know once you receive your ATM MASTER CARD.
MRS Â FAITH BONI
ATM MASTER CARD OFFICE ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL
Federal Republic of Benin West Africa.