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:
- "million 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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Timothy Emery <"www."@aioros.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Timothy Emery <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 20:26:38 +0900 (JST)
Subject: COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT OF ESCROW ACCOUNTS $10.5 Million Dollars,
COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT OF ESCROW ACCOUNTS $10.5 Million Dollars,
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
This is the 3rd time i am sending you this notification letter regarding to your abandoned ATM Visa Card valued sum of US$10.5Million and i have not received any positive respond from you or making a suggestion on how you wish to receive your ATM Card. Once again; I am Mr. THOMAS MIKE, the new director ATM Head of Operation United Bank For Africa PLC, I resumed to this office on the 20th of OTCOBER 2017 and during my official research I discovered an abandoned ATM Master card valued sum of $10.5Million belonging to you as the rightfully intimate beneficiary.
I tried to know why this card has not been released to you but I was told by the UBA Bank management that the former director ATM head of operation who left this office two months ago withhold your card for his own personal use without knowing that his evil plans towards diverting your fund will be discovered.
Now that your ATM Visa card is still available and ready for your receiving, therefore you can come down here to our bank to pick up your card direct from my office or alternatively it can be arranged ship to your address through any registered reliable courier service company that you will take care of the courier charge, hope it is cleared and accepted by you?
I don$B!G(Bt know the courier cost of shipping the card to you but if you permit me and accept the terms, then I can make an inquiry from the courier shipping company to find out the cost, but in that case you will be required to forward to me your address where you want to receive the card to enable me find out the shipping cost to your location.
Your direct telephone number and address will be needed and more details of your ATM card payment will be made known to you as soon as I receive your swift positive response.
Do not hesitate to call me on (+229) 99457408 as soon as you read this mail.
Thanks for your co-operation and i wait for your kind positive respond.
Mr. THOMAS MIKE