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:
- "account opening" (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. )
- "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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- contact number: 234-806-615-4068 (24 hours) private email: email@example.com priority: urgent my name is carol croff of the (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Carol Croff" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 06:41:00 -0400
Subject: PRIORITY: VERY URGENT
FUND RELEASE/PAYMENT OFFICE
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
TELEX / COMPUTER DEPARTMENT
LAGOS - NIGERIA
CONTACT NUMBER: 234-806-615-4068 (24 HOURS)
PRIVATE EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Carol Croff of the telex/computer department of First City Monumental bank (FCMB)/ United bank for Africa (UBA). I am sending you this private email based on the confidential nature of the transaction and i ask that after you read the proposal there in and you do not have an interest, please delete this email and keep the details to your self, as i am still in service and i would not like to loose my job.
Fisrt of all i would like to inform you that the Federal government and CBN has now handed over;all payment processes and proceeding to FCMB and UBA, therefore, you are to stop all forms of communication with whom ever you had been dealing with immediately.
Furthermore, after proper verification of your files, it has come to my notice that you have alsmost fullfilled all the statutory requirements as regards your contract/inheritance payment. Your problem is interest groups. Due to the fact that your transaction was being handled by the puclic sector of the government, so many people had interest in your money and for this reason, these people facilitate paper works so as to slow you down and discourage you from receiving the funds and this explains why you receive several emailsand phone calls from unknown persons all the time, hence you loose interest and abandon the transaction .
However, i wish to assure you that with my position here in the telex department, i can facilitate an online account for you in which your funds would be put in and you can transfer and credit the funds to your nominated account within 72hours with any difficulty. (THE ONLINE ACCOUNT OPENING IS FREE)
Finally, if you accept my proposal, please send me a response with your private email and phone number to my email address below immediately or give me a call at the number ; +234-806-615-4068.
Even if you do not accept my offer, i will advise you take time to come down and regularize your defective documents rather than fruitless emails and calls with offices here.