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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- 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.
- +447035973996 (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barclays Bank Plc." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 09:18:24 -0800
Subject: RE: US$800,000.00 INTEREST PAYMENT:
Barclays Bank Plc.
26th Floor 1 Churchill Place,
London, E14 5HP Reg. No: 1026167.
From: The Desk of
Barclays bank London UK
Dear Esteemed Client,
RE: US$800,000.00 INTEREST PAYMENT:
I am Mr. Chris Lucas Head of Financial Services and Global Head of Banking and Capital Markets. Payment Director, Corporate Services Division and Head of Swift Transfer Unit of Barclays bank London UK.
Sometime ago, in our bank your fund was brought to our bank from National Lotto Group here in England and after some period, the money was taken back to their treasury. But for the period of time this money was in our bank, it generated an interest of US$800,000.00 which we are about to pay you Via International Bank wire transfer
through one of our corresponding bank in US.
For your information and advice, you need to hasten up to pick this Fund because from time to time the National Lotto Group auditors do come to our bank to cross-check our files and our financial update, the earlier you comply with the demands of the transfer of the fund, the faster the action, because when the auditors arrive and find out that his interest fund is still in our bank they will call back the accrued interest to the lotto treasury account.
What we need from you now is any form of your identification for example; your International passport or your driver license, your telephone and fax numbers for easy communication to you with your receiving bank details and address, or if you wish to have this fund paid to you through any other means that you find more suitable kindly indicate meanwhile, forward your banking details to us. As a matter of fact we dont have enough time to waste since we have wasted time in trying the best way to reach you since we do not have your contact phone number, so try and comply with the entire necessary requirement for the transaction to be completed by contacting the gentlemen below for the payment.
Contact : Mr. Terry Jones (Customer Adviser Case Officer)
Phone No: +44-7035973996
Fax Line: +44- 8704795431
Note all effort to reach you failed and I had to send you a mail on this email address, which I guessed belongs to you.
Expecting your immediately response.
Mr. Chris Lucas
Barclays bank London UK.
Barclays Bank Plc London
UK CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This transmission may contain confidential information protected by state or federal law. The information is intended only for use consistent with the state business discussed in this transmission. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action based on the contents is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please delete this email and notify the sender immediately. Your cooperation will be appreciated