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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 15:28:56 +0100
Zenith Bank Global International
PO Box 631. Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Hot Line : +1-2818197185
I know this letter will come to you as a surprise, but i want you to read
this with maturity. This day, one Mrs. Cynthia Edward, came to my office
to inform me that you are DEAD, and before your death, you instructed her
to come for the claim of your funds in the tune of US$4.5Million that was
long abandoned in your name with Zenith Bank Global International. So here
comes the big question.... (:i) Did you authorize Mrs. Cynthia Edward to
come for your claim? (ii) Are you truly Dead OR Alive? If (NO) you are
hereby adviced as a matter of urgency to reconfirm the details of this
message within 24hours, hence your funds shall be wired into her account
without any more delay. Lastly, you are adviced to reconfirm the details
of this message and get back immediately with these information below..
1.Full name:......................... ....
2.Direct telephone number:....................
4.Your personal identification to enable us confirm you are not dead. This
information above must be provided for reconfirmation to Enable us make
payment to you, hence, your funds will be remitted/wired into her account
as already provided to this management. We wait for your urgent response
today. You need to act very fast, because if this bank wait's for your
urgent reply within three working days and do not receive any message from
you, you will be considered dead, and your funds will be transfered to
Mrs. Cynthia Edward. Here is an account provided by Mrs. Cynthia Edward to
this bank, are you also the one who asked her to provide this bank account
Washington Mutual Bank
2075 S. Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003
Acct. name: Mrs. Cynthia Edward.
ABA # 322271627
Acct # 1951204345
Furthermore, this bank discovered that you have been dealing with some bad
eggs officials whom SCAMMED some money from you without doing the right
thing, Be adviced to STOP further communication with them, your fund is
now approved for payment, follow the right procedure now. This message
demands urgent attention, the bank is waiting to hear from you, do call
this direct number. Mobile Direct Hot Line : +1-2818197185
Dr Jim Ovia.
Zenith Bank Global International