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:
- "account opening" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "account opening form" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.John Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2017 21:58:12 +0900
Subject: URGENT REPLY
Eagle Eye Finance Bank
6 Grosvenor Street,
W1K 4PZ, United Kingdom.
We have received notification from the EUROPEAN BANK/WORLD BANK AUDITORS that you are the beneficiary of the fund
in our vault valued the sum of US$7.6Million.
Be inform that for you to have access to the fund, the payment procedures requires you opening a none resident
account with us.
Detail below are the requirement to open none resident account with us to enable you have access to the fund.
1, Your full names.
2, Your Address
3, You are to fill the attached account opening forms scan and return
4,Copy of your identification
5,scan copy of utility bill.
You are to affix your photo on Right side of the attached Diversity Monitoring form.
Awaiting your compliance.
Director Foreign Operations
Eagle Eye Finance Bank