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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- 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: "Mr. Junior Ralph" <"WWW.."@fine.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. Junior Ralph" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2017 23:06:21 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention please
Office of ATM Swift Card department wants you to understand that everything is
in order (DHL company) Decided to pay you via ATM MASTER CARD
which worth sum
of $10.8 Million USD For activation of your Card pin number and also cover the
insurance coverage to enable you have access of withdraw once you cash up your
ATM Master Card include you ID Card
Don't forget to reconfirm your current data as Mr. Junior Ralph requested to
enable their delivery agent deliver went he arrive.
Herein is what they need from you
1. Your Full Names:_____________
2. Postal Address:__________
3. Direct Cell Numbers:_______
4. E-mail Address:__________
Please hurry up now as your package might attract more charges if it stays
than 3days with DHL and do keep me posted for record
Thanks and remain blessed
Don't forget to reconfirm your current data as Mr. Junior Ralph
requested to enable their delivery agent deliver went he arrive.
Mr. Junior Ralph
Phone number,+229 99687178
YOU CAN CALL ME NOW OK
I am waiting to hear from you as soon as possible.