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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "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. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "FRAUD AND COMPENSATE VICTIMS," (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2018 07:22:56 -0800
Subject: FRAUD AND COMPENSATE VICTIMS,
This is to inform you that the United Nation/International Monitory Funds/ Financial Intelligence of South Africa/ HSBC AND South African Reserve Bank(SARB) has come together in order to combat internet FRAUD AND COMPENSATE VICTIMS, to impose certain duties on institutions(banks) and other persons who might be used for money laundering purposes and the diversion of funds cum related activities, to regulate the applications of the Act in relation to other laws; It is our pleasure to inform you that all modalities and charges delaying your funds have been lifted. responsibilities of supervisory powers to conduct inspections and reception; to verify certain proceedings as in delayed funds in Court; to provide easy ways for beneficiaries to receive their funds, administrative sanctions/fees that may be imposed by the banks and supervisory bodies; to establish an appeal board to hear appeals against decisions of the bank with the aim to ensure that the p
ublic receives their funds.
This message serves to inform you that after the Unicom meeting here in South Africa between us the FICA and other financial monitoring agencies in the world such as FBI, IMF E.T.C aimed to combat cyber Crime and the ways to compensate the victims and those of you who have been in one unfinished transaction or the other such as lottery wining funds, nu -paid contract sum, petroleum, banking, insurance. With lump sum ?32.5 Million British pound sterling Just be rest assured that it is time for you to receive your funds, the UNITED NATIONS have mobilized all adequate bodies to facilitate the release of your funds into your account. The bank of England Director (Mr. George Osborne and Mr. Stanley Fischer from America Federal Reserve Bank New York) also sounded a very serious warning and issued the last instructions/order to the revenue Service Department England and Africa, USA to quickly release all funds placed on hold which is either in
an escrow acco unt or vaults of a
To Claim Your Fund you will need to contact the Reserve Bank Of South African National Payment System Department Mr. P M T Masela and all you will be required to do is to obtain your PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION FORM as the Reserve Bank does not deal with individuals but banks, you are advice to contact(email@example.com) with your details make sure you provide all your details for clearing and the processing formalities for immediate release of your fund into your designated bank account. Provide below the requested details.
FULL NAME:................TEL:.................BANK DETAILS:
ADDRESS:........................ Outstanding Amount................. COPY OF YOUR ID
Mr. P M T Masela
National Payment System Department
South African Reserve Bank
Tel: +27 83 815 3804 (Only