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:
- "clearance document" (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. )
- "transfer of your funds" (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.
- +447043071539 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: ZENITH BANK UK LIMITED <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2023 16:27:35 +0100
Subject: Greeting Beneficiary, Good News
Zenith Bank UK
Address: 39 Cornhill, London,
EC3V 3ND,United Kingdom
Office Of The Head
Operation Zenith Bank
Tel :+44 203 389 5674
Fax :+44 704 307 1539
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 Swiss and the International Remittance Division assessment
report, your payment file was forwarded to us for immediate transfer of a
part-payment of Â£12.5 Million(twelve million five hundred thousand British
Pounds only} to your designated bank account from our offshore account.
The Auditor's reports forwarded to this office shows that you may have been
going through hard times by paying alot of money to see to the release and
transfer of your funds, which has been delayed by some impostors and
We therefore advise 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 with the whole funds transfer
requirements, and also keep this development strictly confidential for the
security of your funds on the ground that you have dispatched your details
to the impostors and dubious officials you were formerly dealing with.
This fund was part of the lodged Late President Saddam Hussein of Iraq
discovery fund with World Bank of Switzerland, which the Swiss Bank has
decided to distribute it generously to help few lucky individuals,and the
European Union is in agreement with the Swiss Bank to distribute the fund
to 800 hundred thousand people in America, Europe & Asia and Africa in
other to help improve their businesses.
The only thing we require from you is to obtain the Non-Residential
Clearance Document to enable us credit your account directly by
TELEGRAPHIC-WIRE transfer or through any of our correspondent banks and
send copies of the funds transfer release documents to you and your bankers
Should you follow our directives, your funds will be credited and confirmed
in your nominated bank account within three (3) bank working days from the
day you obtain this Non-Residential Clearance Document.
For further details and assistance on this Remittance Notification, you are
kindly advice to forward the following information:
FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:
TELEPHONE and FAX NUMBERS:
Mr.Rodney Keith DOwning.
From Zenith Bank Savings (UK) Plc