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:
- 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:
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "PAYMENT CENTER" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 19:09:28 -0800
Subject: Funds Remittance Department World Bank
Funds Remittance Department
After a joint meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Senate Committee on Foreign Debts reconciliation and the Presidential
Payment and Implementation Panel on Contract/ inheritance fund under Category, which was addressed and headed by the President of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (GCFR). It became imperative to contact you on the subject matter. This meeting
was initiated as part of the recent image laundering scheme of the federal government of Nigeria.
During the meeting, so many negative reports were tabled on behalf of our numerous contractors and foreign personnels on how unfairly they
have been treated and extorted by some corrupt government officials who were vested with the authority to pay them their entitlements. The
most annoying and irritating aspect of it all is that they could not effect payment to these foreign beneficiaries after subjecting them to
so much stress and trauma. So the WORLD BANK AFRICAN Region Nigeria has being instructed to carry out the payment to you.
So for you to receive your fund which is worth $25M United States Dollars all you need to do is to choose an option amongst the below
options on how you will prefer to get your funds.
(1)Online Wire Transfer (OWT)
(2) Atm Card
(3) Certified Bank Draft
Kindly choose the method you will like to receive your funds with and
get back to me so that we can proceed on this matter email@example.com
Funds Remittance Department