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:
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Joshua Mugoro <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Joshua Mugoro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:22:42 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: OFFICIAL NOTICE FOR YOUR $4.5M TRANSFER
Â OFFICIAL NOTICE FOR YOUR $4.5M TRANSFER
I wish to notify to you through this medium that your outstanding transaction has been perfected and the fund release application as earlier made in your favor has been approved. The approval was granted this morning by the appropriate department.
Meanwhile, due to the bureaucratic bottleneck that has militated against the completion of the direct transfer of this fund to your account in past, an arrangement has this morning been concluded with our affiliate bank in Benin Republic to carry out the transfer. We resorted to this arrangement in order to avoid some bureaucratic challenges which emanates when an international transfer has been unnecessarily delayed. In a nutshell.
Your detail information has been forwarded to the bank, and you shall be contacted in due course for further directive on how you should receive the fund. However, you should remain advised to cooperate with them as to facilitate swift transfer of this fund.
Finally, to hasten up the transaction, state below is the detail information of the affiliate bank for you to contact the bank and then remind them of your fund with them.
ZENITH BANK LTD
Address:AV. JEAN PAUL II, CARREFOUR DES TROIS BANQUES, 01 BP 2020 - COTONOU
Payment Director::Mr.EBenezer Onyeagwu
Telephone: +228 6899-3758
Kindly furnish your details as stated below.
Once more I wish to commend your mutual cooperation on this transaction and do be in touch with me as you deal with the Benin Republic Zenith Bank LTD.
Chief Financial Officer