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:
- "affidavit of claim" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Wema Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2019 02:38:48 -0800
Subject: Dear Esteem Customer
Dear Esteem Customer,
This is to officially inform you that your (ATM Card Number: 5640-0179-4810-3516) has been accredited in your favor. Your Personal Identification Number is (*****).Your Compensation Payment ATM CARD value with US$4.3M has been approved and ready to be release to you through ATM CARD. You hereby advice to contact the payment Officer at the Foreign operation, ATM department (WEMA BANK PLC) with your personal details.
3.Direct/personal cell number:
4.A copy of any governmental issued identification
Below is the payment officer detail:
MR: BABATUNDE KASALI
This is to draw your attention that all necessary modalities has been put in place, what is required of you is Affidavit of Claim, Take note of that because that was only money requested from you. The officer in charge await your response in other to proceed with the approval delivery.
Thanks and act accordingly.
Mrs. Helen Uche.
Wema Bank Plc.