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:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "WORLD BANK GROUP USA" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2011 00:27:27 -0400
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT RELEASE NOTIFICATION
This is to officially inform you that we have been appointed by the United State Government in conjuction with foreign investigative body i.e INTERPOL,CIA,FBI etc. to single handedly refund all scam affected victims back their scammed fund in which your name appears on the list of victims to be compensated,The united state government appointed this world bank department to officially verified and release your payment,if confirm legal.
You are hereby adviced to send the below information below;
YOUR FULL NAME:
NEXT OF KIN:
DATE OF BIRTH
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
IDENTIFICATION CARD/INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT/DRIVERS LISENCE:
Authority to remit fund will be sent to you that you will fill and sign.This will be send to the payment centre.I will give you the fax number that you will send the form to.You should visit the website to confirm your name as the beneficiary of your claim: www.unclaimed.org.
We advise that all communication should be made by fax and phone,for security reason.This is because there is allot of scam activity on the internet.The officially approve fund on your name is $5.2 Million United State dollars.
We await your urgent respond on this regard.
Mrs Victoria Benson
SCAM RECOVERY AND PAYMENT BUREAU DEPARTMENT.
World Bank Group of auditors
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433 USA