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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- sw washington, d.c. 20219 tel (202) 649-6003 email:firstname.lastname@example.org ref: occ/us.govt/ref/027/pmt-072016 approved payment for (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr John Wagner" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2016 17:55:19 -0000
Subject: Ref: OCC/US.GOVT/REF/027/PMT-072016
Mr John Wagner
Director for Bank and Anti-Money Laundering
Comptroller of the Currency
Administrator of National Banks
400 7th Street, SW Washington, D.C. 20219
TeL (202) 649-6003
APPROVED PAYMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Attn: Contractor / Inheritance//Beneficiary
Following a fax received today and telex from the department of justice under Federal Reserve Bank of United States, We hereby confirmed to you that, we at the Comptroller of the Currency Washington will advise you to STOP all further communications until you receive the release pin code from ANTHONY THOMSON (CHAIRMAN Atom Bank London Office) Europe Co-ordinator Head of London Office NORTHUMBRIA HOUSE, AKLEY HEADS DURHAM DH1 5TS LONDON , As soon as we receive the pin code we will make direct wire transfer to your account by Swift Telegraphic Transfer.
This Notice has been copied to our Computing System for dispatch to various Outlined Security Agencies if our instruction is neglected after 48 hours. We owe no apology to any defaulter on the legal outcome and consequences emanating from this order after this Warning Notice is received as we must abide with the Law of International Act on Monetary Related Matters Act of Maryland Law 2006 as amended 2009.Please, also confirm if you have authorized your attorney to change your banking particulars to the following particulars stated below: USAA Federal Savings Bank 10750 McDermott FWY., San Antonio, Texas 78288-0544 Account Number: 0022499678 Routing Number: 314074269 Routing Number: 314074269 Beneficiary Name: Sharon Gilbert, Also re-confirm your Contract Number, Contract Amount, Private Telephone and Fax number, your e-mail address, Office or home address, so that we can cross-check it with our file records.
We have decided to contact you because we suspected that somebody is trying to divert your money through the sworn affidavit of means, into a new different bank account. Already, their associates have requested us to place a cash call order in their favor on your behalf, but we discovered that your signature was forged.
Following our previous fax to Atom Bank London Office regarding your payment with our correspondence bank, we have sent you a notification to contact urgently MR ANTHONY THOMSON (CHAIRMANA tom Bank London Office)to obtain the REVENUE TRANSFER ORDER CERTIFICATE/CLEARANCE IDENTIFICATION PIN NUMBER which will enable us debit the account and make the necessary wire transfer of your funds into your account. All correspondence and contact will remain open until will receive instructions of REVENUE TRANSFER ORDER CERTIFICATE/CLEARANCE IDENTIFICATION PIN NUMBER/ INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER CHARGE/ INCLUDING UNITED STATE GOVERNMENT TAX (USGT). We expect your urgent confirmation of the release code.
Contact person, you are to forward the documents to us immediately if you have it with you, but if you don't have it, you are therefore requested to contact the genuinely appointed Office of the MR ANTHONY THOMSON (CHAIRMAN)Atom BANK PLC NORTHUMBRIA HOUSE, AKLEY HEADS DURHAM DH1 5TS LONDON My Direct phone:+ 44-744-209-4742 OR phone+44-703-195-3077 (Outside Of The UK.)My Direct phone:+ 44-703-195-9233,Email: email@example.com
Thank you and feel free to contact me by fax only as we do not entertain any phone / voice contacts please. To enable us release your outstanding payment On-Hold /funds to your designated account.
Your urgent response concerning this transfer is highly anticipated, O.C.C remains communicated to our financial principals.
Thanks in anticipation
Mr John Wagner
Director for Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering
Comptroller of the Currency