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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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: "SUMMIT INTERNATIONAL BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 18:11:43 -0500
Subject: PAYMENT APPROVAL (04/12/2015)
Your long overdue outstanding contract/inheritance entitlement has received the attention of the Office of the Presidency on foreign financial matters and also in line with the meeting held between the Office of the Presidency on foreign financial matters and the Federal Executive Council, I write to officially inform you that your contract/inheritance entitlement and 3% accrued interest has been approved for immediate payment to you. You are required to send any form of your identification either your international passport or drivers license and as well as your contact telephone number to the financial institution assigned to handle the payment exercise on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
May i also remind you that according to the instruction passed, it was decided that all outstanding payments should be released without any further delays on or before the 08th Day of January 2016 and any unclaimed fund should be cancelled and deposited to the National Treasury and never to be revisited.You are to contact the undersigned as we are the appointed bank to effect your payments. Below is my contact info.
BANK: SUMMIT INTERNATIONAL BANK
CONTACT PERSON: MR.ROBERT UBAKA