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:
- "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.
- 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 Alex kamara." <"www."@abelia.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr Alex kamara." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 07:47:40 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR ATM MASTER CARD VALUED US$10.500.000 IS IN OUR CUSTODY.
YOUR ATM MASTER CARD VALUED US$10.500.000 IS IN OUR CUSTODY.
To The Owner Of This E-mail,I have contacted my secretary to confirm if you have received the compensation ATM MASTER CARD of (US$10.500.000) which issued in your name, but he told me that he could not send it to you because of the we did hear from for long time a ago. Now I have called my bank to cancel any payment regards to the ATM CARD then authorized them to deliver the ATM CARD in your name which they waiting your reply. As now be inform that all charges has been paid and the ATM CARD is going to be in your name, but to reactivate the ATM Card you have to forward your current informations as requested below to the department of ATM center.
Here is the informations you have to forward to the ATM department center OK:
1. YOUR FULL NAMES:______
2. Postal ADDRESS:_______
3. PHONE NUMBER:_________
4. CELL NUMBERS:_______
5. EMAIL ADDRESS:________
CONTACT PERSON: Dr.Mark Robert
Director, ATM Foreign Operation Dept. Bank Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Phone: + 229 93 48 93 66
Email : ( email@example.com )
Get back to me once you received my massage OK.
Thanks and God bless you.
Mr Alex kamara.