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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- +447053838263 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "LIOYDS BANK PLC UK." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:03:58 -0200 (BRST)
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL AND URGENT
OUR REF: LBUK/IRD/LBX/4/030/2014./
REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT
WITH THE SUM OF (UD$45,500,000,00)
CONFIDENTIAL AND URGENT
MY NAME IS RICHARD DICK THE OPERATION DIRECTOR, LIOYDS BANK PLC UK.WE ARE IN
CHARGE AND ASSIGN PAYING BANK FOR CONTRACTORS PAYMENT.I HEREBY INFORM YOU ON THE
NEW DEVELOPMENT AND THE FILE BROUGHT BEFORE ME FOR FUND REMITTANCE.
THERE IS ONE MR ALLAN CENA FROM UNITED STATE OF AMERICA WITH THE FOLLOWING
BANKING INFORMATION BELOW WHO DIED AS A RESULT OF THROAT CANCER AND HIS BANK
ACCOUNT BELOW HAS REMAIN DORMANT FOR SEVERAL YEARS.
I AND MY TOP COLLEAGUES DISCUSSED TO CONSULT YOU TO ACT AS THE DECEASED NEXT OF
KIN,ALL PROCEDURE TO MAKE THIS CLAIM INTO THE ACCOUNT YOU WILL NOMINATE WILL BE
ARRANGED BETWEEN YOU AND US IN THE BANK. THERE WILL BE NO RISK AS ALL
INFORMATION WILL BE SUPPLIED TO YOU FOR IMMEDIATE CLAIM.THE CONTRACT SUM IS
FORTY FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ($45.5M).
BANK NAME:LIOYDS BANK PLC UK
Please note that you are to send the following information that will help us to
proceed on the release and transfer of your fund.
THE NEEDED INFORMATION ARE:
1 your full name and address:..............................
2 your banking information where you will want the fund transferred
3 copy of your identification:................................
4 your occupation and age:....................................
5.your direct phone/cell number:..............................
(CHIEF OPERATION OFFICER)