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:
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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: "From Barclays Bank"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 22:16:24 +0100
Subject: REF:-INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$27.000,000.00)
BARCLAYS BANK PLC.
CLAPHAM JUNCTION BRANCH,
7 ST JOHNS HILL,
SW 11 1 TN, LONDON
REF:-INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$27.000,000.00)
This is the second time we are notifying you about this said fund.
After due vetting and evaluation of your Inheritance file which The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in conjunction with the Ministry Of Finance Of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Forwarded and contracted us to see to your immediate payment of the sum of US$27,000,000.00 from their Offshore Account with us.
We were meant to understand from our findings that you have been going through hard ways by paying a lot of charges to see to the release of your fund (US$27,000,000.00), which has been delayed. Which has been the handiwork of some miscreant elements from Nigeria?
We advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence from Nigeria .You don't have to pay any charges to receive your Contract fund anymore as you have met up with the whole requirements, your representatives in Nigeria will tell you to still go ahead with them but on your own risk.
The only thing required from you is to obtain Non-Resident Clearance Form/Receipt which we are not asking you to pay the fee to us here in United Kingdom as the Government of Nigeria have paid us for handling/processing of your payment with other customers.
We will help you to see that you obtain the form so that our bank will affect immediate transfer of your Inheritance sum (US$27,000,000.00) into your designated bank account.
Should you follow up our directives, your fund will reflect in your account within five Bank working days from the day you obtain this form. Do not go through anybody again but through this Bank if you really want your fund.
Finally, you are advice to forward to this bank your receiving Account.Where you want this fund to be remitted. Please for your information kindly reply to this email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. John Rob
Head, Private Banking Section.
Barclays Bank Plc. London