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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "international remittance department" (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 fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Official Notice"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 07:56:52 -0700
Subject: Kindly Confirm This Information
Paseo de la Castellana 110
Sucursal en Espana. E-28046 Madrid-Spain
The U.S.A Government, World Bank And United Nations Organization Official Has Approved to pay you part payment of your Contract/Inheritance Fund payment Valued at 5.5Million USD in conjunction with the Spanish Government and Commerzbank AG Madrid Spain.
This International Remittance Department (Commerzbank AG Madrid Spain) was set up to discover an outstanding unpaid fund being owned to Governments or Individuals all over the world through Contract Payment, Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prize Awards.
However,a decision was made last week With this development,a woman by name (MRS.ALICE WEBBER) came to our office with an application stating that you gave her the power of attorney to be the beneficiary of your outstanding Contract/Inheritance/award funds, She made us to believe that you are dead and that she is your next of kin, We got your email address through Spanish Lottery Board and we decided to send an email through this address hoping to find out if you are Dead or Alive and also to find out if you at any time give this woman the power of attorney to represent you.
Please let us know also if you are aware of this development,hence we are almost ready to transfer part payment of $5.5M USD of your outstanding
funds to her nominated bank account stated below:
Bank Name:Bank Of America
Address:1723 Palmdale Bulv.
Palmdale Ca. 93550
Acct # : 3573813158
Rout # : 322271627
Swift code # : BOFAUS3N
If you are not aware of the above instruction, do respond to this email immediately by contacting the head of the International remittance
department (Mr.Javed Gonzales)
His contact informations are written below:
Name: Mr.Javed Gonzales
International remittance department
For immediate transfer of your funds be informed that you are not allowed to correspond or contact any person or office with respect to this transfer other than this office, you are required to send to him an email with your full name,Company or Residential address and your direct Telephone number,Fax Number and your mobile phone where you can be reach at all time.
FOR COMMERZBANK MADRID SPAIN
To provide leadership on issues of common interest and uphold professionalism and ethical practices in the insurance industry.
To have an insurance industry that contributes effectively to the development of the financial services sector in Kenya
The information contained in this communication is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and others authorised to receive it. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking action in reliance of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. AKI is neither liable for the proper nor complete transmission of the information contained in this communication nor any delay in its receipt.