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:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million united states 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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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. Mary Aston" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2016 10:52:42 -0500
Subject: RE: COMPENSATION of 4.5 Million United States Dollars.
This is to inform you that your COMPENSATION of 4.5 Million United States Dollars through the SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER in Europe, America and Asia Pacific.
This card centre will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in an ATM MACHINE in any part of the world, but the maximum is ($4,500) Four Thousand Five Hundred US Dollars per transaction or you can transfer the money from any atm machine to your account.
This funds is programmed into an ATM Card for security purpose and It will be sent to you for usage at any ATM CASH CENTER of your choice and I was also made to understand that you will be liable to pay the sum of USD$850 ONLY directly to the agent below for there safe keeping and for the delivery charges,for the endorsement of an INSURED STAMP and the release of your Card Verification Code which will be used by you as the rightful owner for withdrawer.
INSTRUCTION/WARNING FILL IN THE DETAILS BELOW.
YOU ARE ADVISED TO CONTACT THE AGENT WITH THE FOLLOWING DETAILS.
1). FULL NAMES:..................
2). RESIDENTIAL :.....................
3). PHONE AND FAX:.....................
4). SCAN COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY (I.D CARD, INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT, DRIVERS
Henceforth, contact this Office immediately for the submission of the above information's.
Name: MR RYAN BAILEY
Tel: +17033483612 Call Or Text Him
Without wasting much time, we want you to contact them immediately with the above email address so as to enable them attend to you accordingly without any further delay as time is already running out.
Thank you very much for your co-operation in advance as we earnestly await your urgent response to this matter.
Mrs. Mary Aston