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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "abuja" (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 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: "Dr. Jamal Isah" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Dr. Jamal Isah" <DrJamalIsah5555@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2018 21:50:45 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ATM Card Beneficiary
I write to inform you that your United Nations Compensation fund of US$10.7 Million Dollars which the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon approved to be paid to all those who have lost some money as a result of scam on the internet of which your name is included, has been programmed into an ATM Card and is ready for delivery via FedEx Courier Services to your doorstep right now.
You are entitled to withdraw US$1,500.00 dollars daily from this card and our card is inter switched meaning that you can use it on any ATM Machine any where in the world.
Kindly forward your full names, telephone number and complete receiving home address so that we can dispatch it to you immediately you pay for the courier delivery charge of US$265 dollars only.
Please note that this delivery charge of US$265 dollars is all that you need to make to enable the dispatch of this Card via FedEx Courier Company to your home address within the next 3 days.
Kindly treat this message as very urgent.
Dr. Jamal Isah.
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
ABUJA, NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA.
Direct Telephone Line:+234-8118085956,