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:
- "lagos" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Pa Lamin Bayai" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:11:27 +0100
August 23, 2016
AB FINANCE COMPANY LTD
House 88 Snakes Lane East,
Woodford Green,Essex,IG8 7HX
Nigeria Office Headquarters:
Plot 28 Akintoye Shogunle Street
Ikeja Lagos Nigeria.
Telephone Int: +44 787 224 2346 UK
Telephone Domestic: +234 9093279272 NG
Re: Notice of transfer
I have been instructed by the United Nations Organization to affect an immediate transfer of $7.5m as compensation.
But after I crosschecked your file I did not find your banking details where I will transfer your fund to, please kindly send your banking details including your bank telephone and fax number and address of your bank. This is necessary because after your transfer a copy of the transfer slip will be sent to you and a copy to your bank for confirmation. Also send to us a copy of your passport photograph or driving license for identification.
Your earliest response and confirmation of all necessary requirement is been awaited from you.
Thanks and regards
Dr Pa Lamin Bayai
United Nation Organization