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:
- "security keeping 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. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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. FRED MOORE" <"WWW.WWW."@piano.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: INSPECTOR JIM HARRY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 06:22:14 +0900 (JST)
Subject: QUICKLY CONTACT INSPECTOR JIM HARRY FOR YOUR ATM CARD.
I have deposited an ATM CARD that contains your compensation fund worth of USD2.5M on care of the National Security for security reason and the contact person is ( Inspector Jim Harry ) as we discussed. Please mail him immediately to send the ATM CARD to you. I am in Columbia now.
I kept deposited the ATM CARD on his care and will send you the rest of the money after my business trip here. I sent you so many mails but all bounced back.
So mail ( Inspector Jim Harry ) with below email for him to send the ATM CARD to you:
here is his email: ( email@example.com )
or call him at: +229-67563119
Kindly re-confirm to him your personal information per as follow:
Your full name..............
Your house address ..............
Your direct phone number ...................
Your occupation ....................
Your country's name ................
Your age ...................
Remember that the only fee you have to pay is the security keeping fee which is $32.00usd and the delivery charges which is $47.00usd. The total amount to pay is $79.00usd only.
Thanks and do let me know when you receive it.
Mr. Fred Moore.