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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MR.KEVIN BROWN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:37:47 +0000
Subject: PAYMENT NOTICE
UNITED BANK for AFRICA PL C.
UNITED BANK for AFRICA REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT.
Attn: Valued client,
The board of trustees of UNITED BANK for AFRICA PL C., in conjugation with the
Federal ministry of Finance, Apex bank and United Nations have concluded plans to
transfer your approved fund USD17.5M through any of these following means;
1. K.T.T(KEY TELEX TRANSFER
2. TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER
3. DIPLOMATIC DELIVERY.
4. BY ONLINE BANK TRANSFER
You are therefore required to furnish this bank your contact information ETC
phone numbers(both Cell,home telephone and
fax,numbers),age,sex,occupation/position for immediate processing of the
transfer through any method of your choice as stated above.
Note, this money was deposited by late relation/friend MR. JAMES WILLIAMS,a
national of your country, who worked/contractor with an oil firm here ,died in
an air-bus in couple of years ,directed that you shall inherit the fund,hence we
are contacting you.This fund has been lying in our custody indefinitely.
Awaiting your rewarding response with the information required to enable this
bank process your funds.
(UNITED BANK for AFRICA REMITTANCE DIRECTOR)