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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "million us 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)
- "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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr, Frank Edward." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 19:02:30 -0800 (PST)
Subject: CONTACT ECO BANK FOR YOUR TRANSFER
I write to inform you that I have deposited your funds to ECO INTERNATIONAL BANK Benin Republic, However your $2.5 Million Dollars will be transferred to your account once you send your account information to the bank, You know that this transaction have taken longer than expected and I think that the wire transfer is the best and easier way you can receive your funds total of $2.5 Million US Dollars.so Contact the below person who is in position to release your fund into your destination account within 48hours.
Dr, Collins Mohammed.
Foreign Remittance Department Eco International Bank Benin Republic.
Email; ( email@example.com )
Call him with this number,
You are require to forward the below informationâs to them to avoid transfer your funds to a wrong person.
(1)Your Bank Nname ==============
(2)Beneficiary Name ==============
(3)Your Account Number ===========
(4)Routing Number ================
(5)Your Bank Address =============
(6)Your Home Address =============
(7)Your Country ==================
(8Your age and Occupation ========
(9)A copy of your Passport =========
(10)Your private cell/working Number ===
Please forward the following informationâs to them now in there email I gave to you and let me know when you do so and also when you receive your funds in your account, Please make sure you donât make any mistake with those information so that they will not transfer your funds to a wrong person, I Am very happy because am strongly believe that God is in control.
Mr, Frank Edward.