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.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "BARCLAYS BANK PLC," <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 20:25:16 +0800 (CST)
Subject: CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY
BARCLAYS BANK PLC,
566 TO 599 VICTORY ISLAND
LAGOS NIGERIATel- 234 70
Email:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Attn. Beneficiary CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY I here by send to you the information submitted by Mr. TIMMY CROSS U.S.A of Florida group Ltd, with an application to receive your payment on your behalf.
Please as a matter of urgency, you are required to verify the following information and inform us if you are aware or know anything about this. This morning Mr. TIMMY CROSS came to the office claiming that you have instructed him to come and receive the payment on your behalf with some representatives. I have ask them to come back tomorrow as they did not provide any power of an attorney from you which will proof that you thoroughly send them,
This was to enable me contact you to verify how genuine this people are to you. 1. Did you instruct one Mr. TIMMY CROSS of USA Florida group Ltd. whose information's is below, to claim and receive the payment on your behalf? 2. Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment' in his favor thereby making him the current beneficiary with the following account details:
Account Name: Timmy Cross Group Ltd, A/C # Bank Name: Standard Chattered Bank Florida Swift Code: SCBL 11K111.Finally, you are hereby advised to indicate to this honorable office with immediate effect,if you are the person that instructed Mr. Timmy Cross to come for the claim of your fund worth of $16,500.000.00 (Sixteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars),to enable us endorse for the final payment approval order on his behalf. Endeavor send your reply (
email@example.com ) for urgent attention.We shall be waiting for your urgent and prompt response. Sincerely,
MR. DAVID FOX,
BARCLAYS BANK PLC.