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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "From : Steve Odonkon" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2020 12:17:21 -0700
Subject: RE: STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL (Respond Immediately)
Esteem Complement, Saturday October 31st 2020
Hello, my name is Steve Odonkon, Audit Accounting Officer of Siliva valley bank, London, United Kingdom. I got your information when I was searching for an oversea partner among other names, I ask for your pardon if my approach is offensive as I never meant to invade your privacy through this means, and also i believe this is the best and secured means I can pass my message across to you in clear terms. I have sent you this proposal before now; I do hope this will get to you in good health.
As the Audit Accounting Officer of the bank, I have access to lots of documents because I handle some of the bank's sensitive files. On the course of the last year 2019 business report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the Audit Accounting Officer made (£5,720,000.00). Million British pounds from some past government contractors in which my head office are not aware of and will never be aware of. I have placed this funds on what we call escrow call account with no beneficiary.
As an officer of this bank I cannot be directly connected to this money, so my aim of contacting you is to assist me receive this money in your bank account and get 50% of the total funds as commission. There are practically no risks involved, it will be a bank-to-bank transfer, and all I need from you is to stand claim as the Original depositor of these funds who made the deposit with my branch so that my head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account.
Send me your contact details below to enable me furnish you with more relevant details that will help you understand the transaction.
Thank you in advance and May God bless you and your family.
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