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:
- 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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. ADESINA A. AKINWUNMI" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 05:47:54 +0800 (HKT)
Subject: YOUR FUNDS WILL BE RELEASED TO YOU IMMEDIATELY
I am Mr. Adesina A. Akinwunmi.The Newly Elected President, African Development Bank Group.
This is to bring to your notice that my office has taken over all the money transactions originated from any part of Africa, Asia and European countries as contract payment, Fund Inheritance or Lottery Winning due to Unauthorized/incapability of financial Institutions/security companies in releasing such huge sum of money due to Fraud, terrorism and money Laundry activities going on world wide.
The World Bank Group has Mandated the African Development Bank (ADB) via my Office to release funds to beneficiaries through a means preferable by the beneficiary, Hence Your Name appears as one of The fund beneficiaries whom their fund was successfully cleared for payment.
Your money will be released to you through any means preferable by you either by the below options.
(1) Payment through Delivery of ATM CARD
(2) Through Bank to Bank wire transfer to avoid paying excess charges.
You are requested to re-confirm the below information proving you the bonafide beneficiary.
(1.) Your Full Name:
(2.) Your Residential Address:
(3.) Your Direct Phone Number:
Mr. Adesina A. Akinwunmi.
President, African Development Bank Group.