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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Richard Owen" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 06:53:58 -0800
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
I hope that this correspondence is received with the urgency and expediency required.
It has come to the notice of the Board of Trustees at the CBN that your present inheritance claims application being handled by the Remitting Bank in Nigeria is experiencing some man made irregularities. To this effect, it has become necessary for the Board of Trustees to invite trained Fund Transfer Specialists from Sweden to resolve and regularize your fund release with immediate effect.
We at Jean Alis Consults have been duly consulted by the CBN Board of Trustees and have been fully informed about how the staff of the remitting bank have been taking advantage of you by telling you to pay unnecessarily exorbitant charges which will only make your fund payment a long drawn out process.
Due to this we have decided to step into the process of your fund transfer to enable your funds to be transferred within the soonest possible time you are to get back to us immediately without needing to pay all the huge sums of monies that are being demanded from you by the remitting bank.
All processes to have your funds paid to you immediately through the CBN's Liaison Remittance Office in Sweden have been initiated to cut out unnecessary costs. You are advised to keep this communication highly confidential as the CBN Board of Trustees have asked us to resolve this fund payment independent of the office of the CBN Governor to identify the principal participants in this unethical payment procedure.
Furthermore, you are hereby advised to pay no further fees or charges to the Remitting Bank in Nigeria as they shall no longer be handling your payment process.
We shall await your immediate correspondence with your direct telephone numbers for re-confirmation to our agent dr Richard Owen in United kingdom email address at (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we may conclude your payment immediately.
Dr. Jean Alis.
Jean Alis Consults