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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "DOUGLAS RICHARD" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2018 19:18:07 +0200
Subject: COMPENSATION FUND
Re: Delivery of Your ATM (VISA) Card
This is to inform you that United State Government and Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria has been approved your Compensation Fund of your ATM Master Card to delivery your ATM Master Card to you immediately you get back to me for further instruction.
Kindly reconfirm your full information listed below where you want your ATM Master Deliver to.
1) Your Full Name……………..
2) Your Mobile Number and Fax……….
3) Your Home address………………
4) Your age and Occupation………
Be informed that the total amount on your ATM Master Card is US$20.5M Only (Twenty Million five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)
You can also call Mr. Paul Owen from Department of Treasury Direct Account Washington, D.C to confirm this Compensation Fund.
Contact Name: Mr. Paul Owen Director of Department of Treasury Direct Account Washington, D.C
Tele: +1 253-200-4503
Dr. Douglas Richard,
DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNTANT