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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "First Trust & Deposit Company" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 11:15:45 +0100
Subject: Fund Alert, Verify Your Contact !!!
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your file as you have not received your overdue payment occasioned due to the fact that you have not fulfilled the due obligations given to you in respect to your payment. This is to inform you that a deposited fund of Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollar (US$400,000.00) has been approved for immediate remittance to you as instructed by The Resolution Panel and Senate Committee on Appropriation & Finance as initiated by the First Trust Funding Scheme.
Reply to the funds co-ordinator assigned to you, Mr. Felix Delapaz with immediate effect, the preferable method of payment thus: -
i. INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT: This mode will require an International Certified Draft/Cheque sent to you via a contracted courier firm which will deliver to you at your residential address in your country depending on agreed stipulated mode and time of delivery.
ii. BANK TRANSFER: This will require the initiation of an online bank transfer with the paying bank (Falcon International Bank) upon which your funds will be transferred into your nominated bank account.
Your reply must be directed to;
Name: Mr. Felix Delapaz
For the purpose of clarification, you are to reconfirm your Full Names, Direct Telephone Numbers, Physical Address with Zip Code for the remittance of the funds to you in your country of residence. Remember to quote your file number *RPSCAF/58539/FTDC*.
Your quick response will be highly appreciated.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Dr. Bill Jones
Director of Operations
First Trust & Deposit Company®
This e-mail message (including attachments, if any) is intended for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, proprietary, confidential and exempt from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender and erase this e-mail message immediately.
Copyright© 2009 First Trust & Deposit Company®