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:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: " Mrs. Comfort Aboh " <email@example.com >
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 17:28:03 +0300
Subject: CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY!!!!
WEMA BANK NIGERIA PLC,
Head Office: Wema Bank Towers
112 Marina Road, Marina. Lagos .
CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY
In our office today was the presence of One Mr. Peter R. Kwett of 2613 Walnut Avenue, Carmichael, California 95608-4734, USA and a Nigerian lawyer filing application contrary to your pending fund transfer.
The above mentioned people visited this Bank yesterday with a power of attorney given in his favor by your good self, granting him the benefit to process and claim your inheritance of US$10,000,000.00(Ten Million
United States Dollars Only) for personal reasons. He further Stated that the online account be Terminated while the fund should be wired to his Bank account with Citibank N.A, California, USA.
Account Number # 40018190666, Routing Number# 321171184
My office has asked Mr. Peter R. Kwett to return back to the Bank within 48hours to enable us have a personal confirmation from you being hitherto the beneficiary. We are sorry to have delayed your instruction in giving out this fund since we must adhere to the modus operandi of this honorable bank by making sure this request is verified and confirmed by the beneficiary and his existing attorney.
Your confirmation to the above will be appreciated as we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Reply to this email(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mrs. Comfort Aboh
Manager, Wema Bank Plc