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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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. Joseph Leon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr. Joseph Leon" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 07:23:34 +0000 (GMT)
We hereby confirmed
the receipt of your overdue accrued interest payment of US$3,600,000.00
dollars, under transaction reference number ICBGH/XII-0933/DRC/OX/12.
Debt Reconciliation Committee in conjunction with the United Nations
authorities, whose the above order are relied on, have also instructed
that your further communication with your previous associates concerning
this transaction should stop henceforth.
This is as a result of
several reports on diversion of your allocation by your previous
associates to unknown beneficiary. Based on this issue, your urgent
attention to either of our below payment options is highly needed for
our immediate official payment procedures and to avoid any further
1. Bank to bank wire transfer.
In this case, fund will be transferred to your account via our overseas correspondence bank, the Lloyds TSB Bank in London, UK.
2. ATM (Master) Card.
this case, an ATM Master Card, equivalent to the total approved amount,
will be issued in your name and also be delivered to your mailing
address via our overseas correspondence bank after card authentication
Further to the above points, please note that our official
payment procedure takes up to three (3) working days and allocations
are retrieved to treasury after ten (10) working days.
While, I await your quick response.
Mr. Joseph Leon.
Foreign operations Office.
Zennith Bank plc
Tel: +234 806 4252772