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:
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "come down to london" (these scammers pretend to be based in the UK, but they are really in Africa)
- 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.
- +447035914914 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.OKONJI DIATA" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 15:59:08 -0800
Subject: YOUR DEPOSITED FUND WITH OUR BANK
I know that this letter will be a surprising one to you....
Firstly, I will like to introduce myself formally as Mr.Okonji
Diata,The bank president of The GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL BANK
You are been officially contacted by me because your Inheritance
Funds were Re-deposited into the "British Suspense Account" of
Global Bank London last week, because you did not Claim your
funds as the Rightful beneficiary in our Corresponding bank.
TRANSACTION ODESHNFXX17439OPP PASSWORDREXV1999
First i advice that you copy out your transaction codes.
1.New Payment Reference:- 321009871 2.Allocation No: 6890132
3.Password No : AB911001 4.Pin Code No: 978 5.Certificate of
Merit Payment No: 090 6.Released Code No: 0763 7.Immediate
Telex confirmation No: ws0014433 8.Secret Code No: XXFGN013
Well known to all.This morning at about (9:00am Standard Pacific
Time), I was alerted by my Secretary that Three men were at my
Office Reception waiting to see me and so I told my Secretary to
let them in.I had to ask them why they came to see me in person
and they said that they were here to Collect the Inheritance Bill
Sum of Twenty Million Dollars(US$20,000,000:00) which rightfully
belongs to you, on your behalf.
These foreigners actually claimed
this beyond reasonable doubts. At this development I asked them
who authorized them to come down to London England for the
Collection of this Payment and they told me that you as ked them
to come and collect this Funds on your Behalf.
Infact this was the biggest shock that this Bank have ever
received so far because your Inheritance Funds is still in the
British Suspense Account of Global Bank, yet you sent these men
to come and collect this Funds on your behalf without notifying us.
We in this Bank do not understand why you sent these men to come
and Collect your Funds on your behalf.Kindly clarify us on this
issue before we make this Payment to these foreigners whom came on
your behalf. In receipt of this confidential Letter, you are required
to call this Bank (+44-703-5914914)immediately you receive this