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:
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: CAROLINE SHARAPOVA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2021 10:16:01 +0100
Subject: YOUR URGENT ATTENTION IN REGARDS OF YOUR ATM CARD
We write to inform you about your inheritance award winning
check of $1.8 million USD which was issued out from the bank last
week, although the check has been cashed & converted to ATM Visa card,
reason, the check was cashed & loaded into a card is because the check
may get expired before it gets to your possession, therefore we have
registered the ATM card with EMS SPEED POSTAL SERVICE company here.
So you are advise to contact them via their info below, please ensure
you send them your current address where to deliver the ATM card.
Ems speed Post Manager: Dr.Kevin Anthony
Whatsapp Telephone: +22952681495
Endeavor to indicate the ATM parcel registration number to them which
is ( ATM-067CMZ ) when contacting them.
Caroline Sharapova Esq OON,
Secretary to IMF Representative Republic Du Benin.