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:
- "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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- presidential drive, asokoro, abuja email;email@example.com dear contractor, this is to inform you that by a (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Chris Ihedigbo" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 12:03:46 -0700
Subject: PLEASE CLARIFY THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION;
OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN, DEBT
1/3, PRESIDENTIAL DRIVE,
This is to inform you that by a legislative resolution reached on the 14th of June 2011, following complaints and petitions received by the Presidency/Minister of Finance from both local and foreign contractors over the non-payment of their over due contract claim, and the decision taken after due consultation with the World Bank, IMF and the European Union (EU) this commission on fact finding on contract awards and payments was inaugurated to ascertain how genuine the petitions were and to recommend a final solution to it.
We are pleased to inform you that we have verified every aspect of your payment and have submitted a written report to the minister. This commission has validated your contract and shall transfer your payment upon receiving your confirmation because there are some mix-up in your payment details.
There is also a British Bank Account information from a third party, who claim to be your foreign partner, thereby contradicting your earlier account details forwarded to us. Therefore, additional clarification is required.
PLEASE CLARIFY THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION;
1. Did you at any point transfer your debt claim to one Mr. Fernandez Gomez whose bank name and account number is written below, to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
2. His claim was backed with a "Deed of Agreement" in his favor thereby indicating the fund's destination to the following account;
Bank name: HSBC Bank Plc
0.5 miles SW - 8 Victoria St,
SW1H 0NE - 0845 7404404
Account No 6179172979.
SWIFT Code:, MIDLGB22.
Account Name: Fernandez Gomez
You are required as a matter of urgency to confirm the legitimacy of the above claim and the reason for such change. In the event where you did not authorize such claim, please Confirm to us immediately by stating your authentic account details, contract number and amount for authentication and normalization through this email address he reinstated: firstname.lastname@example.org
All letters must be directed to the Chairman of the commission Engr. Gerald Ekeoma and you are to submit this authentication before the transfer will be effected as we are bound to recognize Mr. Fernandez Gomez's claims and release the said payment if we do not receive your submission to this inquiry as quickly as possible.
Dr. Chris Ihedigbo
For: Fact-finding Commission.
Note: It is an offense for any contractor to offer financial gratification to any member of this commission. So, please beware!