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:
- "transfer into your account" (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.
- +447031879775 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Wayne Finighan" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 15:12:57 +0800
Subject: How are you?
l will like you to understand that,this is no spam message. Your attention to this message will change your life. I NEED JUST YOUR CO-OPERATION.
I am Mr. Wayne Finighan, Director allocation department of GUARANTY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, England, United Kingdom.My office monitors and controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions concerned with foreign claim payments. I am the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks both on the local and international levels in line with foreign claim settlement. I have before me list of funds which could not be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have been identified either as ghost accounts unclaimed deposits and over-invoiced sum etc.
0n this note I wish to have a deal with you as regards to an unpaid fund. I have a file before me and the data's are correct and un-tampered. As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the Federal Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as unclaimed deposits.I have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions I received two days ago from the Foreign Debts reconciliation department to submit the list of payment reports / expenditures and audited reports of revenues. Among several others I have decided to remit your claim sum following my idea that we can have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.
1. The sum of USD$4.7M only will be transfer into your account after the processing of all relevant legal documents with your name as the bonfire beneficiary. The transfer will be made by Draft or telegraphic Transfer T/T confirmable in 3 working days in your location.
2. This deal must be kept secret forever and all correspondence will be strictly by email / telephone for security purposes.
3. There should be no third parties as most problems associated with your fund release are caused by your agents or representative.
If you AGREE with my conditions l advise you to send the following:
A: Your Full name and address
B: Your direct telephone number
And the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the three days mandate. I hope you don't reject this offer and have this fund transferred.
Mr. Wayne Finighan.