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:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Rev Dr Favour Okeke <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 19:38:17 +0900 (KST)
Subject: Contact Eco bank Director General Rev Dr Favour Okeke
Contact Eco bank Director General Rev Dr Favour Okeke
Hello dear beneficiary,
Before I commence I will like to explain myself to you, my name is Rev Dr Favour Okeke the new director officer of Eco bank Benin Republic Plc West African, my dear, I want to use this opportunity to inform you that I was now the director and it have not been a month now, so I went through the scheme of work of this honourable bank and find our that your name and your fund valued $4.8 million dollars was here for six months.
So it amaze me so much and then I went to the office of IMF office Benin and reported this to them to know what is their aim and they told me that bank former director Mike Okoye was the one that curse all this he collect money for peoples and then refuse to wired their fund to them, so my dear the Lord I serve will not allow such to happen here in my seat, so I hereby to declare to you now to get us your full information so that your fund will be wired into your account immediately ok without wasting time, I do not like betraying people and no one will do such to me. Below are our contact information
Email us @ ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Your are free to call us @+22999652258
This is what we needed from you now so that your fund will be wired through this bank immediately,
Your account number========
Name of bank===========
Bank user name==========
Copy of id==============
Your phone number==========
Your occupation ============
Once you forward this to this bank I assure you that you are to receive your fund with 74hrs ok, if your are able to call me am free call this line +22999652258.
Thanks and remain bless, my regards to your family.
Rev Dr Favour Okeke
Eco bank director general