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:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Abudul Aziz" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 02:22:20 -0800
Subject: URGENT RE-CONFIRMATION
Central Bank of Nigeria,
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way
Central Business District,
Abuja, Federal Capital Territory,
+234 (0) 9 616 37104
+234 (0) 9 616 37902
We write to inform you that due the announcement of the president of Nigeria Jonathan. E. Goodluck said that all foreign CONTRACTORS/ INHERITANCE outstanding debts should paid off immediately, due to that we now received a power of attorney from Kim Chulmin that you have authorized him to receive your fund on your behalf as your (NEXT OF KIN) find below his bank information with identification (ID)
Name: Kim chulmin
Address: 882-6, shingadong, gwangsangu,
kwangju, south korea
ID card: attachment
Bank Name: KOREA EXCHANGE BANK
Bank address: 1-2 kumnamro1ga donggu, kwangju, south korea
SWIFT code: KOEXKRSE
Name: Kim chulmin
We need you to re-confirm the power of attorney to us before we proceed any dealings with him if yANKou did not authorize him please re-confirm the below information to this office.
YOUR FULL NAME_________________________
YOUR ID COPY___________________________
YOUR BANK NAME:_______________________
We forward to hearing from you.