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.
- 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: "DOUGLAS RICHARD" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2017 23:09:00 +0200
Subject: REF/PAYMENTS CODE IS: WFSC/07735
Dear Valued Citizen.
Be informed that your outstanding payment has been approved from United Nation and World Bank/IMF so I will be waiting to hear from you soon to start processing your payment documentation.
Kindly reconfirm this application put in by Mrs. Jeanne White - she submitted the under listed bank account information supposedly sent by you to receive the funds on your behalf.
The bank information she applied with are stated thus:
Account Name: Mrs. Jeanne White
Bank name: Citi Bank NA
Bank address: #1230 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
Account Number: 013439887655
Routing Number: 2771722
Swift Code: CITIUS30
The said Mrs. Jeanne White is claiming to this office that you are dead and have Instructed that all relevant documentation/Information regarding your Payment/ATM Master Card, be changed to her as the beneficiary of the payment short-listed among the foreign beneficiaries entitled to receive their payment.
This is your ATM Master Card REF/PAYMENTS CODE IS: WFSC/07735.
Reply With your details as below for easy processing and payment release:
2 Full addresses....
3. Phone Number…
4. Sex: ……………..
5. Age ………………
6. Occupation ………..
Mr. Douglas Richard