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:
- "abuja" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "THE PRESIDENCY" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 10:56:26 -0500
Subject: Your UNPAID FUND
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Nigerian Presidential Complex,
Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja
UNPAID FUND RECOVERED LETTER
In our efforts to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability and facilitate individual and company economic growth. The office of the Presidency our Federal Republic of Nigeria and the international monitoring network has ordered the immediate release of your UNPAID FUND that has been on hold. We hereby advise you to reconfirm your information below to enable our paying bank contact you for cash payment immediately.
Re-confirm as follows
(1) Your Full Name........?
(2) Full Residential Address: (P.O.BOX NOT ALLOWED)?
(4) Beneficiary Amount?
(5) Direct and Current Phone?
(6) Passport identification?
Note: The above information is necessary to certify that you are the rightful beneficiary of the said funds As soon as we confirm these information, our paying Bank will contact you for immediate release of your fund.
Dr William Colgate
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY