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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Paul Marek" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 1 May 2017 11:19:49 -0700
Subject: Attention: ,
Sequel to the delay in your payment, it has come to our notice through USA International Clearing House that your payment which was scheduled through ATM Card has not been completed due to diplomatic misplacement and MICRO SMART CARD FAILURE and error from the issuing bank.
Based on this, the USA International Clearing House and Foreign Payment Bureau has mandated us to complete your transaction via online internet transfer using 960 MEGABYTE transfer circuit which will be confirmable in your local bank account within 12hours. This will be perfected within two banking days through our Satellite corresponding bank that will recognize your local bank account number.
On this note, you are advised to set up an online account with European Investment Bank so that your online account details will be submitted to USA International Clearing House for crediting of the account. We therefore, implore your kindness to acknowledge this email and stop any form of communications with any person(s) or bank(s) demanding or asking you to pay any fee before your PIN would be sent to you until we finalize our service and you make transfer to your account by yourself.
It is also pertinent to let you know that your total sum due for transfer is Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars ($3,500,000.00).
We will direct you how to set up an online account with European Investment bank upon your reply.
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