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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dumorrage" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Zenith Bank Plc" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 10:09:16 -0800
DO YOU KNOW ONE MR. RACHELL BORDOY? WHO PRESENTING A POWER OF ATTORNEY TO CLAIM YOUR ABANDONED FUND AVAILABLE FOR TRANSFER DEPOSITED IN OUR BANK.
WE HAVE RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM ONE MR. RACHELL BORDOY WHO PRESENTED A TELEPHONE NUMBER WITH A RESIDENT ADDRESS, SAYING THAT YOU GAVE HIM THE POWER OF ATTORNEY TO MAKE YOUR CLAIMS FUND OF ($10.5M)USD IN THE ATM MASTERCARD FUND AND STOP ORDER INSTRUCTION ON THE FUNDS PENDING WHEN YOUR VIEWS AND COMMENTS ARE RECEIVED WITH REGARDS TO THIS MATTER.
BELOW IS THE INFORMATIONS HE SENT TO US NOW.
NAME: MR.RACHELL BORDOY
ADDRESS: 80 WEST 170ST, APT C4 BRONX, NY 10452.
HIS OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER: +1407-374-6006,+1(604) 262-3877
FEEL FREE TO CALL US:+234-703-315-7520,0022-965-332-945.+234-703-315-7520 OR EMAIL US:(firstname.lastname@example.org) IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES IMMEDIATELY.
SO TELL US CAN WE GIVE THIS MAN INSTRUCTION TO MAKE THIS PAYMENT REQUIRED FOR DUMORRAGE/DELIVERY/PROCESSING OF YOUR PIN CODE NUMBER OF THE TRANSFER OF YOUR FUND THROUGH ATM CARD? OR YOU CAN SEND THE REQUIRED AMOUNT. AND SEND US YOUR FULL CONTACT DETAILS TO PROCEED ON THIS TRANSFER OF THIS FUND INTO YOUR POSSESSION THROUGH YOUR OPTION MEANS
PROFESSOR HENRY WILLIAMS