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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- 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.
- +447005938136 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (National-champs; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Union Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 02:34:48 +0700
Subject: Your transfer info.
Union Nigeria Plc.
>From The Desk of:MR.RAMOND IKE
Head, telex operations
This letter is to bring to your notice that your fund One million five hundred thousand dollars only being your compensation fund awarded to you as a result of your time and effort you put in pursuance of your inheritance fund with the federal government of Nigeria has been released through electronic telephone banking transfer system of payment with our offshore bank in London UK.
The transfer information is as follows:
Transfer access number: +447005938136
Transfer pin code: 2628
Transfer batch number 32/65/710-008
Amount transferred US$1.5million
This system of payment will credit your fund direct to your bank account in swift, immediately you enter your transfer pin code. Which is 2628?
To credit and confirm your fund dial with your telephone our bank transfer access number which is +447005938136 and the computer will ask you to enter your transfer pin code and your bank account number and press # key on your phone as to enable your fund credit direct to your bank account.
So you are advised to contact Mr.James Ezeh,EMAIL: James.Ezeh@National-Champs.com
Tel:2348068460995 for more information and the obligation you need to reactivate the transfer pin code. Please let him know by forwarding the following information;
1. Your full name:
2. Phone and fax number:
Note that your fund cannot be confirmed into your account without your transfer pin code being reactivated. Again this system of payment is to control fraud, scam and money laundering. However, I have attempted to call you on this number +13473301319 but all effort failed and I had to send you a mail on this email address, which I guessed belongs to you.
With best regards
Head, telex operations