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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Investigation Department Bureau" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:11:44 -0700
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY/ARE YOU DEAD OR STILL ALIVE REPLY IMMEDIATELY AND CALL OUR OFFICE FOR MORE DETAILS
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
NIGERIA INVESTIGATION BUREAU
14A AWOLOWO LANE, IKOYI
>From Desk Of Mrs Vivian Martins
Director Inter-Switch Unit of the Investigation Bureau
BE CAREFUL OF THE HOODLUMS
I am Mrs. Vivian Martins Executive Chairman Nigeria Investigation Department/FBI Investigation department Nigeria, a committee set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the able President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Based on the finding in this investigation department we wish to warn you against some touts. We have been informed that some touts are contacting you in respect to the collection of your fund in the total sum of $35 Million US Dollars that was long approved in your favor through the Zenith Bank of Nigeria Plc.
As a matter of fact we have been on this investigation assignments for some time codded known to no one but the Presidency and some top government official who are in support of this investigation team to help stop fraudulent activities in this country. There is presently a counter claims on your funds by one MR JOHN SMITH, who is presently trying to make us believe that you are dead and even explained that you entered into an agreement with him, to help you in receiving your fund, So here comes the big question.
We apologize on behalf of the President and the good citizens of Nigeria for any delay and lost this most have coursed you and We promise that such thing will not happen again. And if you are dealing with any one of them regarding this payment we urge you to STOP because you are taking a big risk and you will never find your money because your funds in the total sum $35Million US Dollars is now with the ZENITH BANK OF NIGERIA PLC a commercial Bank recently approved by the Presidency to fulfill all foreign payments.
Did you sign any Deed of Assignment in favor of (MR JOHN SMITH). thereby making him the current beneficiary with this following account details: MR JOHN SMITH,AC/NUMBER: 6503809428. ROUTING/122006743,B/NAME:CITI BANK, ADDRESS:NEW YORK,USA, we shall proceed to issue all payments details to the said MR JOHN SMITH, if we do not hear from you within the next two working days from today. However, you are advice to get back to us and confirm immediately for us to know if MR. JOHN SMITH is from you or not.
Please note that you have less than 48hrs to get in contact with us,or we will proceed to issue all payments to MR JOHN SMITH.
Considering the circumstances at hand, you are advice not to accept any fax or telephone calls that does not come from this office.Reply to this message immediately and call our office for details.
Thanks for your good understanding and co-operation while we wait for your urgent response.
Mrs. Vivian Martins: Director Inter-Switch Unit of the Investigation Bureau
Deputy: Mr. Tony Allens:
CONFIDENTIALITY & COMPLIANCE NOTICE!
This communication is confidential and is intended solely for the addressee. It is not to be forwarded to any other entity or copied without the permission of the sender and may be protected by professional privilege or which disclosure is prohibited by law. Unauthorized use is prohibited and may be subject to applicable penalties Please notify the sender in the event you have received this communication in error
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