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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 21:33:11 +0100
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE.
We wish to congratulate and inform you that after thorough review of your Inheritance/ Contract funds transfer release documents in conjunction with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund assessment report, your payment file was forwarded to us for immediate transfer of your full payment in the amount of US$35,200,000.00 (Thirty Five Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), to your designated bank account from our offshore account.
The audit reports given to us, shows that you have been going through hard times by paying a lot of money to see to the release of your funds, which has been delayed by some dubious officials.
We therefore advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence outside this office since you do not have to pay any money or fee to receive your funds as you have met up with the whole funds transfer requirements.
The only thing required from you is to obtain the Unconditional and Non-Residential Clearance Approval to enable us credit your account directly by swift transfer or through any of our corresponding banks and send copies of the funds transfer release documents to you and your bankers for confirmation.
Should you follow our directives, your funds will be credited and reflect in your bank account within five (5) bank working days from the day you obtain this Unconditional and Non-Residential Clearance Approval.
For further details and assistance on this Remittance Notification, kindly provide us with the below details:
FULL NAME AND ADDRESS:
TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS:
COPY OF IDENTIFICATION:
Mrs. Mulu Ketsela
Director, Financial System Stability
African Development Bank Group