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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Crittenden,Gary" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:30:17 +0100
Subject: QUARTER UPDATE.
HELLO SIR; THIS IS ONLY FOR THE FUND BENEFICIARY WITH PENDING PAYMENT!
There is an issue, on part payment as interest calculated rate, you will
try to get any Citi Group , Habib Allied close to you or it's correspondent
bank. As the case may be, my office can still get the actual address where
you are to go for your payment. Citi Group & Habib Allied was authorized to
pay (One Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand U.S Dollars), while Two
Million Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand U.S Dollars will follow as complete
part payment to beneficiaries with due payment since 3yrs back until date.
I added your reference on the scheduled list of payment during the first week
of January, I wanted to give you the surprising news then since we had in the
past handled your payment issue, but did not get the approval until this time.
You will be assigned on Payment normalization process to reference that you
have been paid partly, with a voucher identification claim, tagged with your
name and amount to be collected, meanwhile note that only the (BIS) can give
you an instruction for this operation payment.
Your file Normalization will be processed within two working days. Before we
can get you the information to go to any of the appointed correspondent bank.
Reply through all listed contacts for further information/advice.