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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mebom Edward <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:54:01 +0000
Subject: Can you please confirm this message urgent
FROM THE DESK OF DONALD UBA
DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE OFFICE,
ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC
PLOT 84 AJOSE ADEOGUN STREET,
VICTORIA ISLAND LAGOS
CONFIRM IF YOU ARE ALIVE OR DEAD
There is presently a counter claims on your fund $10.5MILLION DOLLARS by one MR.KYLE BURRIS, who is presently trying to make us believe that you are Dead and even explained that you entered into an Agreement with him, to help you in receiving your Fund, So here comes the big question.
Did you sign any Deed of Assignment in favor of (KYLE BURRIS)? Thereby making him the current Beneficiary / NEXT OF KIN with his following Account Details:
NAME: MR KYLE BURRIS,
we shall proceed to issue all payments Details to the said Mr. Kyle Burris, if we do not hear from you within the next two working days from today.
Once again I apologize to you on behalf of ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC ,towards this contact and proper confirmation required urgently from you if alive Reply via: email@example.com
ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC.