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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "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 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: "Mr.John Davis" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 07:19:44 -0700
Subject: DID YOU AUTHORIZE MR.GERALD TAYLOR TO CLAIM YOUR FUND 05-08-11
Unity Trust Bank Plc
P.O. Box 57111, Victoria Island
Our Ref: TUB/SBN/MIN/2011.
Your Ref: MAV/SBN/MIN/001.
Did you authorize Mr.Gerald Taylor who presented document of claim purported to have been signed by you for the release of your part-payment beneficiary settlement of Ten Million,Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$10.5M) Ready for Transfer? But Mr.Gerald Taylo is Claiming the fund while the Beneficiary Still Valid in your Name. Ensure that you do not delay to get back soonest as this calls for urgent and cogent attention to avoid misappropriation, misconception and misconstrue in our beneficiary financial transfer record.
If you did not give any Authorization to the said Mr. Gerald Taylor for claim of your fund, please reconfirm immediately to avoid banking irregularities, as your fund is now ready to be transferred based on the urgent instructions from the Committee of Foreign Contractor Payments Board. In summary of what you need to do is to get back with the information request below.
1) Your full Name............
2) Residential Address................
3) Direct Cell-Phone/Mobile...........
4) Age and Marital Status.............
5) Professions ...........
6) Next of Kin Name and his Residential Address............
As soon as this information is received, your payment will be made to you in an ATM card or wired to your nominated Bank Account directly.
You are advice to contact the Foreign Department immediately. Your Payment Ref. No. is MAV/SBN/MIN/001. This fund is in line with the Federal Policy for release of all outstanding payment beneficiaries due for payment in the Quarter Payment Release of the Year 2011. Also give me a call on My Direct Line +2348028597398
Waiting for your Reply.
MR. JOHN DAVIS
EXECUTIVE, FOREIGN OPERATION
UNITY TRUST BANK PLC.