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:
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Jim Ovia" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 14:58:59 -0800
Subject: SCAMMED VICTIM/ US$ 250,000.00 BENEFICIARY.REF/PAYMENTS CODE:06654
ZENITH BANK COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH THE UNITED NATIONS. Send a copy of your response to official email:
In regards to the recent meeting between the United Nations and the Present United States Government to restore the dignity and Economy of the Nations. Base on the Agreement with the World Bank Assistance to help and make the world a better place for all with the sole aim of abolishing poverty.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$ 250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.
Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of Economic and Financial Crime Commission observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr. Jim Ovia of ZENITH BANK PLC, as he is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your Cheque/ International Bank Draft of USD$ 250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) this funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose OK? so he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
This meeting was first held on the 8th of April 2003. You can view this page for your perusal: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ik344.doc.htm
Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone number/your correct mailing address where you want him to send the Draft to you.
Contact Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your Cheque:
Person to Contact Mr. Jim Ovia