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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- 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. Leonard Moore" <"www."@bird.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. Leonard Moore" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 00:07:03 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Welcome to Atm Card Payment Center
Welcome to Atm Card Payment Center.
From The Desk of
Mr. Leonard Moore
International Settlement Dept.
Urgent Attention Dear Legal ATM VISA CARD Owner,
I am Mr. Leonard Moore, from office of ATM Swift Card Department ( UBA BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC ) We knew is very difficult for you to understand because you have been long time waiting for your ATM Card all the time yet things didn't work out to your expectation but you have to understand that your file has not gotten to this office, then Beside most CARDS are being sent through African and after much investigation it was resulted that 95% of the ATM CARD was not Good which is the reason the card could not being use.
To this effect, the appropriate authorities (Economic Community of West African States of African and American Government) has decided not to deliver CARD to foreign clients through African anymore due to a lot of complains that beneficiaries are not receiving their payment after fees has been paid.
This office want you to understand that everything is in order, Economic Community of West African States and American Government have agreed for you to receive your fund (ATM VISA CARD) through our ( UBA BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC ) and you are to contact this office immediately for the release of your ATM VISA CARD with your full information to enable us cover the insurance coverage and please include copy of your identity for proper reprogramming and activation of your card pin number to enable you have access of withdrawal immediately you receive your CARD.
You are advised to include the followings below:
(1)Your Full Name,
(3)Your Direct Telephone Numbers,
(4)Your Direct Office Phone Numbers,
(5)Mobile Phone Number,
(6)Your Correct Home Address,
This is to inform you that we have done and concluded all the necessary arrangement for your payment worth of $10.5M USD (Ten million five hundred thousand united states dollars ) which have to be pay to you through ( uba bank international plc) with ATM VISA CARD.
Finally, you are being legally contacted regarding the release of your long awaited fund. After a detailed review of your file, the United Nation Monetary Unit, World Bank and the US Homeland Security Department has been Authorized to release your ATM VISA CARD immediately. The sum of $10.5M USD has been approved in your favor via ( UBA BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC ) desk.
Quickly get back to me for more advice.
Mr. Leonard Moore,
ATM VISA CARD Delivering Department.
(Uba=Bank International Plc) Benin Republic