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:
- "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 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: "ATM CARD BANK." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 08:16:32 -0000
Subject: RE-NOTIFICATION ON YOUR OVERDUE PAYMENT.
FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC
ASOBIA HOUSE 45, MARINA STREET , LAGOS NIGERIA
TEL: 234803794208, Fax: 1 3383673 , TELEX: 21335
Ref: FBN/FOP/DI/215/11 Date:5th Feb2011
RE-NOTIFICATION ON YOUR OVERDUE PAYMENT.
Prior to serials of deliberations and verifications by the national executive council (NEC), the president in collaboration with the accountant general of the federation, the national house of assembly (legislative) and other security/foreign agencies, have resolved to pay your overdue fund payment.
Based on this, we have verified thoroughly that you actually executed and completed your contract up to category a special in accordance with the contractual law of 1990 section 240 vol. iv sub-section 811 of 1999, as amended and stipulated in the year 2002 contractual act of law, but you have not yet settled all the statutory obligations to the federal government parastatals/ministries concerned.
However, on the satisfaction of the above subject matter, an irrevocable instruction has been given to this reputable bank as soon as you off-set statutory obligations to the federal government parastatals/ministries concerned, for us to go ahead and effect your contract fund into your authoritative/nominated bank and account immediately. Government has chosen this method/mode to avoid further irregularities in fund payment executions.
The president, national executive council, national assembly, First Bank of Nigeria Plc and the entire federal republic of Nigeria sincerely apologies for the inconveniences you must have encountered in the process of receiving your funds all this long time. Thanking you for your kind endurance.
Quickly get back to me with your correct banking details, tel/fax numbers and other vital document to enable me commence your fund transfer process.
Congratulations in advance.
Mr. Stephen C. Durn
Managing Director/CEO First Bank of Nigeria Plc.