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:
- "lagos" (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: "MR. PETER AWELE" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2016 20:44:46 -0800
Subject: Re: FUND APPROVED VIA ONLINE TRANSFER NOTIFICATION.
Eco Bank Plc.
Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Direct Line: +2348138690845
I am Mr. Peter Awele your Authorized Fund Account officer handling all foreign unpaid inheritance fund. your payment file was open yesterday after the executive board meeting concerning all Unpaid inheritance and we notice that your payment have been kept pending for a very long time due to the wrong information given previously by the payment Administrative officer.
However, after the approval this morning. I decided to contact you immediately to inform you about the Re-approval of your part payment. To enable us know that we have contacted the rightful beneficiary. Do fill and return the below listed personal details so as to enable us cross check with the one in your payment file and commence with the release of your part approval payment of $4.5m.
DOB: (Date of Birth):
Copy of your Identification: Either Drivers License OR International Passport OR Identification Picture.
As soon as the above information is receive and confirm correctly, the bank management will not hesitate to furnish you with your account details and transfer instructions.
MR. PETER AWELE
Fund Account Officer
ECO BANK PLC