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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- 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: "ECO BANK PLC" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2015 11:26:21 -0700
Subject: ALERT!YOUR PAYMENT IS IN SEROUS DANGER..................
>From The Desk Of: George Hamington.
Telegram: Eco Bank Plc
Telephone:+234 708 2750967
RE: CHANGE OF ACCOUNT PARTICULARS ON YOUR BENEFICIARY FILE.
I hereby send to you the information submitted by Mrs. Diane Thill From Philadelphia , with an application to receive the payment of $41.2million United States Dollars on your behalf. Please as a matter of urgency, you are required to verify the following information and inform us if you are aware or know anything about this.
1. Did you instruct one Mrs. Diane Thill From Philadelphia, whose information's is below, to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
2. Did you sign any "Deed of Assignment" in her favor thereby making her the current beneficiary with the following account details: Account Name: Diane Thil, A/C #USD114-1025567-8, Bank Name:The Sovereign Bank, Philadelphia, Swift Code: SCBL 11K111.
Finally, you are hereby advised to indicate to this honorable office with immediate effect, if you are the person that instructed Mrs. Diane Thill to come forward for the claim of these funds
You are to call with the above Phone Number for more clarifications. You are hereby to send to this office your full information so that we the entire members of this bank will verify and to check Mrs. Diane Thill own file which he sent to us,so that we can know the real owner of this said amount.
1. Your Full Banking Details
2. Your Contact Address
3. Your Telephone/Fax Number
4. Your Profession/Religion
5. Your Age And Current Occupation
6. Attach Copy of Your Identification
We are very much aware that you are still in contact with some other office(s) and we hope you are fully ready to stop every communication with any other office(s) in order to enable us help you receive this fund.Call me on the Telephone number +234 708 2750967 for further details after you have send in the requested information as directed above.We wait to hear from you as soon as possible.If you know you are ready to comply fully with every directives of the bank in order to complete this,then you are kindly advised not to respond as this not a joke.
Mr. George Hamington
Director of Foreign Operations
Eco Bank Plc