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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "30% for you " (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447053837207 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 00:16:46 +0100
Subject: Very Urgent
>From The Desk Of
Director Telex Department
Zenith Bank London
I am Linda Owen from the Zenith Bank London, please my self and my partner
Mr. Ibrahim Muhammad At the auditing department of Zenith Bank London we
need your assistance for the transfer of $4.5million from my branch.
this funds has been dormant for over 5 years now, and with the statutory
Obligation governing all banks here in the united kingdom this funds shall
be declared unserviceable and be confiscated by the British government if
no one has claim for the said funds this is the more reason why I agreed
with my colleague here at the auditing department to go into search for any
one that has same last name with this deceased customer from the UAE in
which we can present as the next of kin to this account and the fund be
released to you after we shall shear the funds among us 30% for you while
70% for me and my colleague.
Please note that this transaction is 100% risk free transaction as we have
all the legal documents my bank may request from you as proof of ownership
before they can transfer the funds to you. Please contact us for more
detail also feel very free to ask any question if there is any and I shall
direct you more on how to proceed fast.
I would want to reassure you that there is really no fear or risk in your
involvement for with due diligence here, successful outcome will be
guaranteed and I will also endeavor to protect every interest within the
context of duty care and professionalism.
Thanks as i look forward to your urgent reply.