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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transfer into your 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)
- 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: "Wayne Finighan" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 19:58:31 +0800
Subject: ASSISTANCE NEEDED
l will like you to understand that,this is no spam message. Your attention
to this message will change your life. I NEED JUST YOUR CO-OPERATION.
I am Mr. Wayne Finighan, Director allocation department of GUARANTY BANK AND
TRUST COMPANY, England, United Kingdom. My office monitors and controls the
affairs of all banks and financial institutions concerned with foreign claim
payments. I am the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge
funds moving within banks both on the local and international levels in line
with foreign claim settlement. I have before me list of funds which could
not be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have been
identified either as ghost accounts unclaimed deposits and over-invoiced
0n this note I wish to have a deal with you as regards to an unpaid fund. I
have a file before me and the data's are correct and un-tampered. As it is
my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the Federal
Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as unclaimed deposits.I have the
opportunity to write you based on the instructions I received two days ago
from the Foreign Debts reconciliation department to submit the list of
payment reports / expenditures and audited reports of revenues. Among
several others I have decided to remit your claim sum following my idea that
we can have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.
1. The sum of USD$4.7M only will be transfer into your account after the
processing of all relevant legal documents with your name as the bonfire
beneficiary. The transfer will be made by Draft or telegraphic Transfer T/T
confirmable in 3 working days in your location.
2. This deal must be kept secret forever and all correspondence will be
strictly by email / telephone for security purposes.
3. There should be no third parties as most problems associated with your
fund release are caused by your agents or representative.
If you AGREE with my conditions l advise you to send the following:
A: Your Full name and address
B: Your direct telephone number
And the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your
name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the three days mandate. I
hope you don't reject this offer and have this fund transferred.
My private e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org