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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: ZENITH BANK PLC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:28:05 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: CHANGES OF BENEFICIARY
Zenith Bank Plc.
84 Ajose Street
CHANGES OF BENEFICIARY
This is the second time we are notifying you about this said fund. We hereby
send to you the information submitted by Mr. John T. Kehoe U.S.A of California,
with an application to receive your Award Payment of $10,000.000.00.on your
behalf from this bank.
Please as a matter of urgency, you are required to verify the following
information and inform us if you are aware or know anything about this. This
morning Mr. John T. Kehoe came to the office claiming that you have instructed
him to come and receive the payment on your behalf with some representatives.
I have ask them to come back tomorrow as they did not provide any power of an
attorney from you which will proof that you thoroughly send them, This was to
enable me contact you to verify how genuine this people are to you.
Firstly. Did you instruct one Mr. John T. Kehoe of 122 Fitch Way, Sacramento,
Ca. 95864. whose information's is below, to claim and receive the payment on
Secondly. Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment' in his favor thereby making him
the current beneficiary with the following account details:
Account Name: Mr. John T. Kehoe Group Ltd,
Bank Name: Bank Of America
Swift Code: SCBL 11K111.
Finally, you are hereby advised to indicate to this honorable Bank with
immediate effect, if you are the person that instructed Mr. John T. Kehoe to
come for the claim of your fund worth of $10,000.000.00. NOTE: your full name
and telephone number is needed for communications.
We wait for your email: email@example.com OR call me on +234-7053961903 and
urgent respond to this bank so that you will be giving an immediate Response.
Dr. Donald Steve Uba
Head of Operations.
Zenith Bank Plc