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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "inland revenue" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447024064951 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Sify; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "DAVID MARK" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 14:14:08 +0100
Subject: ATTN: THIS IS THE THIRD AND FINAL MESSAGE FROM INLAND REVENUE DEPARTMENT.
ATTN: THIS IS THE THIRD AND FINAL MESSAGE FROM INLAND REVENUE DEPARTMENT.
INLAND REVENUE/FUNDS DEPARTMENT
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
(RESOLUTION PANEL ON CONTRACT PAYMENT)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR INHERITANCE FUNDS.
CONTACT: MR. JAMES WANG
We received an email from a Lady called (Ms. Julie Anderson) stated that she is your younger sister, she told our office that you have given her permission to claim FUND valued at USD1,500,000,00 Dollars as part payment of your total sum and also do confirm the original Contract/Inheritance claim fund to enable us update our file, this fund was program due to the Inland Committee on resolution to pay all Foreign Contract/Inheritance claim fund still in our custody.
Since we have not heard from you regarding the claim despite losing your information you have submitted for this claim. In this vein, you are urgently requested to re-send your required information below to our office immediately on receipt of this mail for a safe and hitch free delivery/Transfer which has been approved by the Senate committee via Citibank of London to be paid and delivered to you, Now she has contacted us that she will pay the balance left for the delivery/Transfer of the FUND to her via a UNITED STATES BANK ACCOUNT but we are not satisfied with the information presented for the delivery.
Below is the information she has submitted for the delivery/Transfer of the FUND of USD1, 500,000.00 Dollars.
Name: Ms. Julie Anderson
Current Address: 1019 8th Avenue North, Washington 98109
United States of America
NATIONAL BANK OF CENTRAL TEXAS
SWIFT CODE NABKUS4A
We would like to know and to confirm if you are the one that gave her the power of claim, if yes, kindly provide a letter of authorization authorizing to our Bank to release the FUND of USD1, 500,000.00 Dollars to her, if no? you are to quickly inform this office to avoid wrongful delivery/Transfer and also make your readiness to make expedite action on the quick delivery/Transfer of your FUND to you without wasting much time to avoid this kind of re-occurrences with information stated below in other for us to deliver/Transfer your FUND of USD1, 500,000.00 to your mailing address within 48 hours as follows.
(4) Your Occupation/Position
CONTACT CITIBANK INTEGRATED PAYMENT DEPARTMENT WITH THE DETAILS BELOW:
Contact Name: Mr. James Wang
This information is to be made available immediately so that your FUND TRANSFER can be issued under the provided name .
NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS, WE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT, WHICH IS (CITI-1014) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING THE REMITTANCE CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT.
You should henceforth STOP further dealings with any group of person's who pose themselves as people in charge of your FUNDS be warned to avoid delay in receiving your payment.
(CHAIRMAN COMMITTE ON FOREIGN CONTRACT/AWARD WINING PAYMENT UNITED NATION/INLAND REVENUE OF LONDON)