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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "BANCOPRUDENTE2" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 08:41:28 -0700
Subject: NOTIFICATION OF CREDIT FROM BANCO PRUDENTE MADRID SPAIN
NOTIFICATION OF CREDIT FROM BANCO PRUDENTE MADRID SPAIN
Attn: Fund Beneficiary,
We have on March 21st 2011, received a payment credit instruction from Ben S.Bernanke Chairman Federal Reserve Bank New York under the instruction of the United Nations and World bank to credit your account with this compensation funds allocated in your name to the tune of US$1,250,000.00 (One million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand united states dollars) from their dollar reserve accounts with us here in Madrid Spain. However, you are required to re-confirm the following details as specified below to effect the transfer aforementioned above amount into your designated account details:
(1). Your Full Name and Address.:
(2). Your Confidential Tel, Cell and Fax.
(3). Your Bank name and address.
(4). Your A/c Name and A/c Numbers.:
(5). YourSwift Code/Routing Numbers.:
Please do provide the above information accurately, because this office cannot afford to be held liable for any wrong transfer of funds or liability of funds credited into a ghost account. Thanks for your understanding while we looking forward to serving you with the best of our service.
Yours in Service,
Don Jose Paglar.