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:
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: "Miss FAITH OKEKE" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2017 08:14:40 -0700
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT AND GET BAK TO ME,
My Name is Miss Faith Okeke, 26 years old, a citizen of Ghana. I am a computer analyst currently working with Central Bank of Nigeria. I just started working with Central Bank of Nigeria. (C.B.N.) My Dear, I came across your payment file which was Marked X and your Fund Release Hard Disk Painted Red, I took my time to study your payment file and found out that you have really attempted to receive the funds without success till now.
The most annoying thing is that the directors and top officials of this nation could not tell you the truth that on no account will they ever release the fund to you; instead they will let you spend money unnecessarily. I swear with my life, I can release this funds to you if you can certify me of my security and how I can run away from this country to meet with you. This is like a Mafia Setting here, if I do this for you, I do not intend to work here all the days of my life and I cannot run back to Ghana as this Bank have my home address in Ghana, and if I don't run away after I making the transfer to your bank account, I may be in trouble or my life will be in danger.
The only thing I will need to release this fund is a Special Hard Disk, we call it HD120 GIG. I will buy two of it, recopy your information, destroy the previous one, and punch the computer to make the fund reflect in your bank account within 24 banking hours. I will clean up the tracer and destroy your file, after which I will run away from here to meet with you in your country if you are interested. But you must assure me the absolute confidentiality of this deal before I can do anything further.Do get in touch with me immediately,You should send to me your convenient
tell/fax numbers for easy communications and also re confirm your banking
details, so that there won't be any mistake.
For phone conversation,please call me on +234-8052520211
YOU WILL SEND THE FEE FOR THE HARD DISK FIRST BEFORE I MAKE YOUR TRANSFER OR YOU BUY
THE HARD DISK IN YOUR COUNTRY AND SEND IT TO ME,DON'T CONTACT ME IF YOU CAN NOT SEND
THE HARD DISK FEE FIRST OR THE HARD DISK. AS SOON AS I RECEIVED YOUR EMAIL I WILL LET
YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THE DISK WILL COST YOU.
Miss FAITH OKEKE