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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "From Mrs.Mary Ude" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "From Mrs.Mary Ude" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 02:50:20 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Are you truly Dead OR Alive?
Â HEND OFFICE : PAUL#0445/STREET ROAD COTONOU BENIN REP BRACH OFFICE 1556 TREET RAOD POT-NOV;
COTONOU, BENIN REPUBLIC, WEST AFRICA. TEL: +229 99206195
Attention: Attention: Attention,
I know this letter will come to you as surprise one but I want you to
read this with maturity. This day, one Mrs. Cynthia Edward, came to my office
to let us know that you are DEAD, and before your death, you instructed
her to come for the claim of your funds in the tune of US$2, Million that
was long abandoned in your name with this bank (ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK
PLC) this is what we want to verify from you before we make the payment
to who came for the claim.
(:I) Did you authorize Mrs. Cynthia Edward to come for your claim?
(ii) Are you truly Dead OR Alive?
If (NO) you are hereby advice as a matter of urgency to reconfirm the
details of this message within 24hours, hence your funds shall be wired
into her account without any more delay.
Lastly, you are advice to reconfirm the details of this message and get
back immediately with these information\'s
Below..and reply us back on (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. Full name:................
2. Direct telephone number:...
3. Address:.................... ..........
4. Your personal identification to enable us confirms you are not dead.
This information\'s above must be provided for reconfirmation to Enable
us make payment to you, hence, your funds will be remit/wire into her
account as already provide to this management.
We wait for your urgent response today. You need to act very fast,
because if this bank wait for your urgent reply within three working days and did
not received any message from you, you will be consider dead, and your
funds will be transfer to Mrs. Cynthia Edward.
Here is an account provide by Mrs. Cynthia Edward to this bank, are you
also the one who ask her to provide this bank account to us?
Washington Mutual Bank
2075 S. Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003
Acct. name: Mrs. Cynthia Edward.
ABA # 322271627
Acct # 1951204345
Amount: US$2, Million.
Furthermore, this bank discovered that you have been dealing with some
bad eggs officials whom SCAMED some money from you without doing the right
thing, Be advice to STOP further communication with them, your funds is
now approved for payment, follow the right procedure now.
This message demand urgent attention, the bank is waiting to hear from
you; do call this below direct number.
Mobile Direct Hot Line: (+229-992-06-195)
Head of Accounting Operations
(ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC)