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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "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)
- "money orders " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "IDBI Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 02:37:10 +0100
Subject: Please read this.
My name is Mr. Anthony Wilcock the owner and Ceo of (out sugar limited) I sell my products( Polymeric Polyol and other products for world trade) to my customers in U.S.A,Canada and which i find it very difficult in receiving my payments from them in the past as they have requested to pay through a direct wire transfer into a home equity line of credit account. I have had a lot of experiences in the past when they were paying through checks and money orders.
I have resolved these issues with them that they cannot make payments via checks and money orders any longer. We now accepted that all payments should be made by swift wire transfer into a home equity line of credit account in the United Sates. They requested all payments to be made into "A Home Equity Line of Credit Account. Why they requested for such account is that the funds will be more secured into such account and the IRS will never question any amount of money coming in or going out of the account. I need you to be my representative in the United States if you own such account. I will offer you 10% of any of my payment that passed through your home equity line of credit account. You will never invest any money at the course of this transaction.
This transaction is 100% legal and does not relate to money laundering and is free from Drug money. The amount of money depends on the volume of facilities sold which ranges from $500,000.00- US$5Million and above depending on the limit of your account. I will detail
you as soon as i hear from you.I will forward a copy of my identification to you as we progress with this transaction. Please do
not forget to provide your direct telephone number so i can also give you a call.
Please, to facilitate the conclusion of this transaction if accepted,
do contact me via email immediately
Mr. Anthony Wilcock