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:
- 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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Controller of the Currency Washington, DC"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 14:53:43 +0100
Subject: Long Overdue Payment Outstanding
ATTN:Contractor /Beneficiary/ Inheritance.
Following a fax received today and telex from The department of justice under Federal
Reserve Bank of United States, We hereby confirmed to you that, we at the Controller of
the Currency Washington will advise you to STOP all further communications until you
receive the release pin code from Mr Goodluck Jonathan, As soon as we receive the pin code
will make direct wire transfer to your account by Swift Telegraphic Transfer.
This Notice has been copied to our Computing System for dispatch to various Outlined
Security Agencies if our instruction is neglected after 48 hours. We owe no apology to any
defaulter on the legal outcome and consequences emanating from this order after this
Notice is received as we must abide with the Law of International Act on Monetary Related
Matters Act of Maryland Law 2002 as amended 2004.Please, also confirm if you have
authorized your attorney to change your banking particulars to the following particulars
stated below: USAA Federal Savings Bank 10750 McDermott FWY., San Antonio, Texas
78288-0544 Account Number: 0022499678 Routing Number: 314074269
Routing Number: 314074269 Beneficiary Name: Lisa Sowards, Also re-confirm your Contract
Number, Contract Amount, Private Telephone and Fax number, your e-mail address, Office or
home address, so that we can cross-check it with our file records.
We have decided to contact you because we suspected that somebody is trying to divert your
money through the sworn affidavit of means, into a new different bank account. Already,
their associates have requested us to place a cash call order in their favor on your
behalf, but we discovered that your signature was forged.
Following our previous fax to presidency regarding your payment with our correspondence
bank, we have sent you a notification to contact urgently Mr Goodluck Jonathan to obtain
the REVENUE TRANSFER ORDER CERTIFICATE/CLEARANCE IDENTIFICATION PIN NUMBER which will
enable us debit the account and make the necessary wire transfer of your funds into your
account. All correspondence and contact will remain open until will receive instructions of
REVENUE TRANSFER ORDER CERTIFICATE/CLEARANCE IDENTIFICATION PIN NUMBER/ INTERNATIONAL
TRANSFER CHARGE/ INCLUDING UNITED STATE GOVERNMENT TAX (USGT). We expect your
urgent confirmation of the release code.
Contact person, You are to forward the documents to us immediately if you have it with you,
but if you don't have it, you are therefore requested to contact the genuinely appointed
Office of the Office of presidency Nigeria, Debt reconciliation committee(DRC)(Dr.Goodluck
Jonathan)on Email: email@example.com
Thank you and feel free to contact me by fax only as we do not entertain any phone / voice
contacts please. To enable us release your outstanding payment On-Hold / funds to your
Your urgent response concerning this transfer is highly anticipated, O.C.C remains
communicated to our financial principals.
Thanks in anticipation,
Mrs. Danny David
Controller of the Currency