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:
- "transfer into your 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)
- "into 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)
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "cotonou" (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, CHUBA JOHNELSON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 15:06:29 -0430 (VET)
Subject: ***SPAM*** Atten: Beneficiary Contact Citi Bank For Fund.
It is my pleasure to inform you that I have verify from the bank director regarding the transfer of your fund and it was good news.
I was assigned by my client to contact you regarding a Bank Draft/cheque of $8.7million us dollar that was deposited/transferred for you with the CITI BANK PLC, so that your fund will be wired to your account immediately you contact the bank director with your banking details.
However I went to CITI BANK PLC to discuss this with the bank director as it has not been delivered to you, but he told me that your fund can be transferred to you via a direct wire transfer (KTT) into your account, he instruct you to contact the bank to apply for a direct wire transfer into your account to avoid loosing your fund due to delay.
Therefore contact the bank with below information, send to them your banking information.
DIRECTOR. Dr. BELL WANG.
CITI BANK PLC BENIN REPUBLIC
20/22 HOSPITAL ROUTE
COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC
CITI BANK PLC FOREIGN OPERATION.
Contact them immediately to enable them proceed with the transfer of your funds into your nominated Bank account.
THANKS & REMAIN BLESS,
MR. DOZIE SYLIVER.
ATTORNEY TO CITI BANK PLC (C.B.B).