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:
- "processing fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "DANIEL WILLIAMS" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 17:52:58 +0430
Subject: Attn: BENEFICIARY OF FUND
Be informed that all the fees you are supposed to pay before receiving your contract/inheritance fund have been waived off. only for your processing fee and he will transfer your contract/Inheritance fund to you immediately.
No other charges except the processing fee. Your PASSCODE is: 999-035-2655 (Fund Transfer confirmation same day).
You have no other payment to make except the processing fee. Your Payment Of ($15.5Million) in addition with your accumulated interest will be through
Electronic Telegraphic Transfer. This is newly introduced system of payment by the Union Bank of Nigeria to avoid experiences of incessant fraud, illegal
extortion of money from beneficiaries and to enhance transparency.
WHEN YOUR FUNDS ARE TRANSMITTED, THE MANAGEMENT WILL INFORM YOU, AND YOU APPLY
THE PASSCODE AS DIRECTED AND INSTANTLY, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE CREDITED AND YOU
MOVE TO YOUR BANK TO CONFIRM YOUR FUND. You will only apply the passcode when you have paid your processing fee because for now, it is still
nvalid until your fund is transmitted.
Here is the processing fee payment information below.
Name: MRS TONIA UTOMI
Text Question: GOOD
Text Answer: OK
You have to go immediately and make the payment before your passcod will be activated and your fund transferred.
You can try the guideline as instance: *With your digital phone dial our bank access code followed by, then
enter your Account number followed by #, at a voice prompt enter your passcode and # and you will be credited. (This will be when your fund has been
Any other contact or payment you make apart from the processing fee is toanybody or office is at your own risk. Then your email subject must
have this code for security reasons "In God We Trust?, any email that does not come with it as the subject is not from central bank and guard this code
Be informed that so many unauthorized individuals do parade themselves as out officials and impose bogus bills on our beneficiaries with their
syndicate home and abroad. Take precautionary measure henceforth, you have been notified, and once we find out that you are one of the people that
involve themselves with these unauthorized individuals, tarnishing the image of this great country we will immediately report you to the authorities (F.B.I)
because we are trying our best to restore the image of this great country.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PROCESSING FEES CAN NOT BE DEDUCTED FROM THIS $15.5M
BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN INSURED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY IT CAN NOT BE DEDUCTED
OR ADDED TO IT UNTIL ITGET TO YOU