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:
- "dear friend" (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)
- "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)
- "cotonou" (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.
- 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. Leo Jaka" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 17:57:00 +0100
Subject: Re: Re: Your ATM Payment Card.
My Dear Friend,
I am indeed glad to be in contact with you once again even though this medium of communication (internet) has been grossly abused by criminal minded people making it difficult for people with genuine intention struggle to correspond and exchange views without skepticism.
Want to inform you that after much stress with the compensation that was awarded to you, the Bank of America have decided to redirect your payment sum of One Million, Two hundred thousand United States Dollars ($1,200,000.00) to Benin Republic United Bank For Africa (UBA) by the instruction giving in 2016 which was awarded to your EMAIL address on your behalf to save you much cost to avoid any circumvent of all governmental taxes locally and internationally.
Your Visa ATM Card have been issued and credited by United Bank for Africa (UBA) and hand over Mr. Jacques Hans which is contact is giving to you below to reach him immediately to collect it as all unclaimed payment will be declare by the end of this month and will be channel back to the commission in the United States of America failure to claim it by you.
Mr. Jacques Hans
C/202, Sikecodji, Cotonou,
Republic of Benin.
Tel; (+229) 60 99 630
From your card, you can withdraw maximum of $10,000-$15,000 per day and you can also make transfer of $25,000-$30,000 dollars from the card to your bank account per day as limit. So I urge you to immediately contact the above and to collect your payment card.
YOU SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECIEPT OF THIS MAIL IMMEDIATELY WITH YOUR DETAILS SO THAT HE CAN RELEASE AND SEND YOUR ATM CARD TO YOU.
Mr. Leo Jaka