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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2015 10:50:17 +0100
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT RIGHT AWAY
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
NIGERIA INVESTIGATION BUREAU
14A AWOLOWO LANE, IKOYI
>From Desk Of Mrs Vivian Martins
Director Inter-Switch Unit of the Fund 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 $15.5 Million US Dollars that was long approved in your favor through the Eco Bank of Nigeria plc.
As a matter of fact we have been on this investigation assignments for some time codely known to no one but the Presidency and some top government official who are in support of this investigation team to help stop fraudalent activities in this country. There is presently a counter claims on your funds by one MR ROBERT BENSON, who is presently trying to make us believe that you are dead and even explained that you entered into an agreement with him in your sick bed before you passed away, to help you in receiving your fund, So here comes the big question.
Did you sign any Deed of Assignment in favor of (MR ROBERT BENSON). thereby making him the current beneficiary with this following account details: MR ROBERT BENSON,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. ROBERT BENSON, if we do not hear from you within the next two working days from today. However, you are advice to email the bank and confirm to them immediately and let them know if MR. ROBERT BENSON is from you or not.
Here is the Banking Information's:
1) NAME OF BANK: ECO BANK NIGERIA PLC.
2) CONTACT PERSON: MR. Jubril Aku
3) EMAIL: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4) TEL: +234-8090974318
Please note that you have less than 48hrs to get in contact with the Bank,or the Bank will proceed to issue all payments to MR ROBERT BENSON
Kindly reply urgently by today for more information and directive of claims.
We wait your concern and action of claim to this regards.
Mrs. Vivian Martins: Director Inter-Switch Unit of the Fund Investigation Bureau
Deputy: Mr. Tony Allens:
Please note that some fraudsters are claiming to be the Executive Chairman, Chief Mrs. Vivian Martins (AIG rtd.) or staff of The Nigeria Investigation Bureau have recently been sending phony e-mails/letters and also calling unsuspecting persons, with intent to defraud them. It is important to note that these fraudsters are criminals engaged in Advanced Fee Fraud known in Nigeria as 419. Every day, people throughout the world are falling victim to scams of one kind or another. But remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam. In the circumstance, we unreservedly advice you to dissociate yourself from all correspondence and transactions entered into based on evidently fraudulent and fictitious claims.
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