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:
- "activation fee" (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. )
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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 JOHN EMERSON <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: MR JOHN EMERSON <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2017 15:22:40 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD IS READY
Attn: Payment Notification
This is to bring your notice that, I have paid the reactivation fee and the delivery of your ATM MASTER CARD,I paid it because the ATM MASTER CARD 4.5 million inside has less than three days to expire and when it expires, the money inside will go in to government purse. With that I decided to help you pay the money so that the ATM MASTER CARD will not expire, because I know that when you get your ATM MASTER CARD definitely you must pay me back for helping you. Now I want you to send your full delivery information
Youâre home address
Youâre Tel phone number
include your ID Card
to UPS delivery company so that Â they can deliver your ATM card The only thing you have to pay is the keeping fee charges, which is $105 only.Â
Contact; JOHN GREEN
ups delivery company
Phone number: +229 68550783
MR JOHN EMERSON
ATM CARD; Federal Republic of Benin West Africa