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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million united states 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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- +229 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: herny christen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: herny christen <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 23:05:30 +0000 (UTC)
RE: ZENITH BANK PLC / ATM APPROVAL.
Re: Payment of Accrued Interest via Certified ATM System (ATM Cast Card) Vide Circular No: EC/11/09/8537W
This is final letter you will ever receive from us concerning the shipment of your ATM Cash Card, actually These Certified ATM was deposited here for delivery to your
home address. This money was deposited by Mr. Chriss Mbah Financial ASST (on contracts) of ECOWAS Commission Debt Liquidation Committee, assigned to convert your
ACCRUED INTEREST payment into an Automated Teller Machine ATM and to be delivered to you as provided by your depositors approved.
Note: The limit of your daily withdrawal is $15,000, and the total sum that was credited in your ATM Card is $12.8Million United States Dollars, we will send you a
renewal codes after your one year of withdrawals, if you have not exhausted funds by then. All process of your ATM paying card is ready and you would withdraw from all
locations of ATM machine in any part of the world.
If this is scam, I will not ask you to pay US$98 postage and handling charge. If you make the payment and at the end of the day did not receive your ATM CARD you can
report this to USA and Nigeria police for fraud.
Your thereby required to pay a US$98for the postage and handling charge cost, Below is the information you will use to send the US$98USD via Western union Money
transfer or Money Gram been the postage and handling charge cost for the delivery of your ATM Cash Card.
Receiver Name:====MIKEL UDEVEZE
Question:== Who Made Heaven?
we would have supply you with our bank account so you shall transfer the fee via our account, But the Financial crime director ordered that this card must get to you
within 2 or 3 working days to avoid repeating of the hoaxes and delays as you encountered in the past.
Youâre therefore to reconfirm your personal information once again for ensuring where to deliver your ATM CASH CARD to avoid mistakes on the delivery or delivering to
a wrong place/person.
Below are the needed details.
Your Full: Names.............
Your Delivery Address........
Your 24 hours direct telephone number....
Your Next of Kin.........................
Please do verify the amount in your card by contacting you payees and the depositors. They have the deposit slips and the signed indenification agreements we had with
them, Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
Thank you for cooperation.
Yours Sincerely in Service
Call me at my line +229_6880_9519
Chief Executive Office Manager
Zenith Bank plc