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:
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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.Richard Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 02:09:59 +0200
Subject: UNION BANK/UNITED NATIONS SCAMMED VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS..!!!
From: Mr.Richard Williams,
UNION BANK/UNITED NATIONS SCAMMED VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS..!!!
REF/PAYMENTS CODE:04454 $5MILLION USD.
ATTN BENEFICIARY ..!!!
This is to bring to your notice that I am delegated from the United Nations to Union Bank Of Nigeria to pay 100 Nigerian scam victims $5Million USD each, you are listed and approved for this payment as one of the scammed victims, get back to me as soon as possible with a scanned copy of your international passports or drivers license for identifications and for the immediate payment of your $5Million compensation funds.
On this faithful recommendations,I want you to know that during the last United Nations meetings held recently at Abuja Nigeria, it was alarmed so much by the rest of the world in the meetings on the lose of funds by various foreigners to the scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world today,in other to retain the good image of the country,the president of the country is now paying 100 victims of this operators $5Million USD each,Due to the corrupt and inefficient banking systems in Nigeria,the payments are to be paid by Union Bank Of Nigeria as corresponding paying bank under funding assistance by the Central Bank of Nigeria(C.B.N.).
According to the number of applicants at hand, 84 beneficiaries has been paid,half of the victims are from the United States,we still have more 16 left to be paid the compensations of $5Million each. Your particulars was mentioned by one of the syndicates who was arrested in Lagos Nigeria/London as one of their victims of the operations,you are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to any body for any reason what so ever,the US secret service is already on trace of the criminals.
For more vital information please call my direct number:+234-708-451-2118, You can receive your compensations payments via any of the both options you choose, Account To Account Fast Wire Transfer or ATM Card Payment Mode,I shall feed you with further modalities as soon as I hear from you,send a copy of your response to my private email: email@example.com and call me immediately you receive this urgent message.
Director Union Bank Compensation Payment Department.
N/B: Please call me for your response.