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:
- "express courier delivery" (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. )
- "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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mr. Ralph Leek" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:40:53 +0100
Subject: Your Pin Based ATM Card
HELLO! DEAR! GOOD NEWS TO YOU,
We received an instruction from the wife of US president Mrs Michelle Obama, to released your outstanding payment of US$ 2.500, 000.00 Million, we have successfully Converted this total amount into an ATM Card in your name,
And it has been approved and deposited to A.D.L Express Courier Delivery Company this morning for registration, and we agreed up that, the delivery of your $2.500,000.00 Million USD ATM Package will take off tomorrow morning,
The information of the A.D.L Express Courier Delivery Company is below;
Contact Name Dr. Vincent Riso
>From A.D.L Express Courier Delivery Company
So contact with your full info where your ATM card will be delivered to,
(1) Full Name:..........
(2) Mobile Number:.............
(3) Direct telephone number:............
(4) Country of origin:......................
(5) Your Current delivery address:................
(6) Occupation/ age/ sex:...............................
(7) Passport ID:...................
Urgent get back to us today with your full address where your ATM card will be delivered to because I will not be in the office next week;
The amount in your Card is US$ 2.500, 000.00 Million and your Pin code is: (9106).
Mr. Ralph Leek
IMF Head Quarter Dept Reconciliation Committee