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.
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- the undersigned at the below telephone, fax or email. email@example.com dwight melvin banco manzana societe s.a email. (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Melvin Dwight" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 11:28:46 +0100
Swift Input : FIN103 CUSTOMER CREDIT
Date of issue : 07 / 01 / 2009
Maturing at : 23 / 12 / 2009
Amount : $5,390,000.00 USD
TRANSIT BULK DELIVERY TRANSFER NOTIFICATION:
REF. S076554920134392, ($5,390,000.00) ONLY,
With reference to thirty- six (36) payments sent to our bank on the 17th
of December 2009 under the instructions of the International Centre for
Settlement of Contracts & Investments Disputes (ICSID) which is an
autonomous international institution established under the United Nations
(UN) Convention on the Settlement of Contracts Disputes, Lottery Winnings
etc. Value was 23rd December 2009 . Twenty-seven payments have since been
completed, while nine remained pending.
Your email address has been submitted to us as the beneficiary to one of
the payments under the following transaction references;
1) TRN S076554920134392
Amount USD $5,390,000.00
Value dated 23 December 2009
By order of ICSID via the Central Bank of France
We advise as status payment arriving our bank and ready for onward
transmission to your account as the final beneficiary. The fund transfer
will be credited and completed via swift as a 72hrs (3-days) normal
banking period is allowed and shall be taking its normal banking routing
and clearing system through our correspondent bank, in Frankfurt-Germany.
Also attached with this letter is STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT.
Should you require any clarifications and/or enquiry, please contact the
undersigned at the below telephone, fax or email. email@example.com
Banco Manzana Societe S.A
Tel: +34 693 993 995
Fax: +34 917 693 082
Wire Services Manager