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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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: AGENT ERIC BOSWELL <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 22:39:33 +0600
Subject: PLEASE CONTACT INTERCONTINENTAL BANK FOR YOUR FUND RELEASE
WASHINGTON D.C ROOM, 7367
J. EDGAR HOOVER FBI BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE,
NW WASHINGTON, DC 20535, 0001.
We sincerely apologize for sending you this sensitive information via
conversation, it is due to the urgency and importance of the security
information involve. In the quest to cushion the effect of the global
financial crisis, American government through the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) Washington, DC and the Internet Crime Complaint Center
(ic3) has signed an agreement with IMF for an immediate release of all
overdue funds presently logged in their treasury and ensure it is disbursed
to the rightful beneficiaries in any part of the world. If you the
beneficiary would adhere to this notification it will help stabilize the
various economies of the world and reduce the effect of this depressing
Prior to this agreement our team of security experts has swung into action
for transparency and accountability of this periodic project. The Federal
Bureau of Investigation (Global Intelligence, Cyber Division) saddled with
the responsibility of monitoring activities going on over the internet have
discovered your name in the list of unpaid contractors and it might interest
you to know that we have conducted a comprehensive investigation on this
discovery as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have confirmed that
the inheritance fund was endorsed in your favor and it is 100% genuine and
hitch free from all facets. You have the lawful right to contact the
appropriate authority to claim your payment without further delay for the
release of your contract fund valued USD $10,500,000.00
(Ten Million Five hundred thousand United States dollars).
As a matter of urgency, you are requested to contact the Remittance
Director of INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC,with your details below
YOUR FULL NAME
YOUR HOUSE ADDRESS
YOUR PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
YOUR OCCUPATION AND POSITION
Name: Dr Mike Wiiliam
Remittance Director INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC
We advise that you go ahead in dealing with the INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC with the address above and be assured that we are monitoring all their activities as well as
your correspondence at all level. If you are presently dealing with any
financial institution(s) or person(s) claiming to have relevance to the
payment of your overdue funds out-side the above financial institution you
are warned in your own interest to stop further communication.
Agent Eric j. Boswell
Secretary for State for Diplomatic Security,FBI