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:
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Hollway <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 02:14:03 +0530 (IST)
Subject: HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY
Do you know that for the past 10 years now more than â¬95Million has being diverted and stolen by some greedy and corrupt politicians by the help of their influential and powerful colleagues who has help them to launder and transfer this fund through our bank to the Overseas? This fund were derived from the sales of Gold and Crude oil and the fund was meant to be used for the development of the Africa nations and the continent at large.
As a banker working in the Foreign Remittance Department, I want you to know that I have acted as the Account Officer to most of this politicians, so I have being involved and participated in the many financial transfer transaction done by this corrupt politicians several times to the Overseas. When I now discover that this politicians were using me to achieve their aims by transferring this huge amount of fund through our bank to the Overseas, I decided to use my opportunity as a top bank official to divert the sum of â¬4.8Million to an Escrow Account belonging to no one in the bank and then clean up the records and files concerning this â¬4.8Million from our Bank's Computerize Data-base Processing Financial Deposit so that there will be no trace of this fund. Now the reason why I have contacted you is this; the bank's management are now anxious to know who owns this account that has this fund (â¬4.8Million) because the bank has benefited and made
lot of profits from this fund for almost six years now. I need a trustworthy and honest foreign partner that I will present to the bank as the owner of the account having this said fund (â¬4.8Million).
This is how we are going to do it, you will have to send your personal informations to me which I will have to program as the owner of the fund (â¬4.8Million) in our Bank's Computerized Data-base Processing Financial Deposit, then later you will write to apologize to the management of the bank and thereafter instruct the bank to transfer the fund to you through the Automated Transferred Money (ATM) Visa Card Account bearing your name. So, if you are interested kindly send the following information to me immediately:
1). Your full name (as it is written in your id card or passport). ................
2). Your contact address with phone and fax number.................
3). Your age. ...........
4). Your Occupation...............
5). Marital status (Married or Single). .................
Immediately I received this listed above information from you, I will proceed to programmed this informations in our Bank's Computerize Data-base Processing Financial Deposit as the real owner of this fund (â¬ 4.8 Million) in the Escrow Account of the bank.
MR. Paul Hollway