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:
- "lagos" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "ATM DEPARTMENT" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:13:12 +0100
United Bank of Africa
36, Marina Lagos.
Sequel to the directive from the Federal Ministry of Finance to pay your withheld sum of $75.000,000 USD. An ATM Card Number worth USD$75.000,000 has been approved for release by the Union bank of Nigeria. You are to provide us with this informations for verification and release of your ATM CARD for delivery.
4.Delivery Address (not postal address):
The courier cost for the shipment of your ATM CARD is $198 ONLY. No more fees will be charged after this payment. Please help us to serve you better.
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