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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "western union" (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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- +2348059183497 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: edward Benson <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 14:26:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 2009 SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS
FIDELITY BANK PLC
FOREIGN TRANSFER DEPARTMENT
FIDELITY BANK/ UNITED NATIONS 2009 SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS.
FRAUD VICTIMS REF/PAYMENTS CODE: FCB/06654
I write to bring to your notice as a delegate from the Nigerian Government Reimbursement Committee under the strict supervision of the United Nations to pay 230 Nigerian 419 scam victims the sum of 800,000 USD (Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars) each. You are however listed as one of the beneficiaries for these payments. You are expected to get back to us for your immediate reimbursement.
In other to redeem the good image of our country, the President has ordered the immediate payment of 800,000 USD each to the affected victims in accordance with the U.N. recommendations. Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in Nigeria, these payments are to be made FIDELITY BANK, Nigeria and CITE BANK PLC, UK as the corresponding paying bank under the funding assistance of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
As regards these ongoing developmental strive, we have over 200 suspects at hand, 135 in kirikri prisons. While many are awaiting trial, we are still in search of others, who think they are wise, and hope that you will assist by giving any vital information that could lead to the apprehension of these hoodlums.You will receive your reimbursement via ATM PAYMENTS UNIT.Also for the Delivery of the ATM CARD to you,you are in obligation to obtain, a Duly Sworn Affidavit from USPIS Liaison Officer here(Nigeria) which will back up the Origin of Fund. This is in line with the Anti-Terrorist Campaign which the USA Government has embarked on recently to protect our Territory from future attacks. You should therefore contact the sender of the ATM CARD or the DHL Courier Agent here to get the Sworn Affidavit for you while we wait to receive from you the Affidavit File Number to enable us to forward your ATM CARD to your address. Below is his contact information.
NOTE THAT THE COST OF THE AFFIDAVIT IS 80 usd ONLY and do not hesitate to remit the amount to him.We shall be waiting to hearing from you been certain that your response will be that you are satisfied and willing to claim your 800,000 USD (Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars) reimbursement funds.
You are required to contact the payee officer in charge and send your proper informations to him together with the payment fee of 80 usd and Your call is highly important and copy of your response is expected with the following information, With this code (CODE 1122 AS THE SUBJECT)
Full home address:
PAYEE OFFICER:Send via western union or Money gram.
Recivers name: John Okoro
Text question: How are you
Amount 80 usd
Mr. John Okoro
Private mobile: 234-8059183497
Mr. Benson Edward.
FIDELITY BANK PLC