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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: hon swift john <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 06:20:04 -0800 (PST)
Subject: DEAR FRIEND
NATWEST BANK PLC UK
(A SUBSIDIARY OF RBS)
REGISTERED IN ENGLAND NO:929027,
CORPORATE OFFICE: 135 BISHOP GATE, LONDON EC2M 3UR
TEL;+44- 70359- 71712
TEL;+44- 70359- 71715
TEL;+44- 70359- 74563
FAX;+44- 70060- 29300
I am Hon. SwiftJohn,Director allocation department from the (NatWest Bank PLC,)London Branch.my office monitors and controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions in London 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, unclaimed deposits and over-invoiced sum etc.
Your Name was among the people expecting the funds to be transferred into their account, on this note; I wish to have a deal with you as regards to your unpaid funds.I have your file before me and hope your data's are correct and un-tampered unless you reconfirm it not correct.
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 dept 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.My conditions:
1. The sum of USD$35.7M only will be transfer into your account after the proccessing of all relevant legal documents with your name as the bonfide beneficary,the transfer will be made by Draft or telegraphic Transfer (T/T), confirmable in 7 working days.
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 problem associated with your fund release are caused by your agents or representative.
If you AGREE with my conditions, l advise you on what to do immediately and the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the seven days mandate.
I hope you don't reject this offer and have your funds transferred.
Waiting for your reply soon.
Hon. Swift John