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:
- "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 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: "DR MICHAEL COLLINS" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2016 17:15:07 +0200
Subject: ATM Visa Card....Urgent
This is to inform you that United Nation gave me instruction to contact you regarding your Compensation of ATM Visa Card.
After an extensive close door meeting between the Board of Directors of the UNITED NATIONS, THE WORLD BANK-GROUP AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND), it was resolved and agreed upon that this body "world international debt reconciliation committee" will work extensively to ensure that your Contract Payment, Your Inheritance and Lottery Winning prizes will be paid without hitches and delay through the World Bank –Group and IMF Insurance body.
Note: we have decided to contact you following the reports we received from Anti-Fraud International Monitoring Group your name/email has been submitted to us therefore the United Nations have agreed to compensate you with the sum of(US$500,000.00) this compensation is also including international business that failed due to Government problems etc.You are therefore advice to send the below information.
Meanwhile your ATM Visa Card is here with me, I only waiting to hear from you so that you’re ATM Visa Card will be delivery to you within three working days time.
Waiting to hear from you with your full name address and telephone number
Dr. Michael Collins