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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: United Nation <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2023 09:05:34 +0100
Subject: BENEFICIARY CLAIM YOUR PAYMENT
We got a report this afternoon from Zenith Bank, MR RUBEN FRANCISCO
GARCIA from HONDURAS forward his below Account information to Zenith
Bank that you instructed to transfer your Fund USD$10.5 Million into
MR RUBEN FRANCISCO GARCIA account.
Below is the account information MR RUBEN FRANCISCO GARCIA forwarded
to Zenith Bank this afternoon.
BANK NAME: WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.
BANK ADDRESS: P.O.BOX 6995
PORTLAND, OR 97228-6995
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 1010107810690.
ACCOUNT NAME: MR RUBEN FRANCISCO GARCIA.
COLONIA ORQUIDEA BLANCA, 18 AVE., 9 CALLE, N.O., # 903.
SAN PEDRO SULA, HONDURAS
Please reply immediately the Zenith Bank and the Federal Government
urgently want to know if you are the one instructed MR RUBEN
FRANCISCO GARCIA to claim your Fund USD$10.5 Million .
Looking forward for your urgent reply.
I attached the Scan Copy of my ID card for your reference.
Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard
The U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Direct Tel: +234 805334 7063