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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "HALIFAX BANK PLC LONDON" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 21:09:40 +0200
Subject: REF:OVERDUE PAYMENT NOTIFICATIONS HALIFAX BANK PLC LONDON
PAYMENT#:MAV///MIN/009 APPROVAL TRANSFER ORDER
REF:OVERDUE PAYMENT NOTIFICATIONS HALIFAX BANK PLC LONDON
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOU'RE OVER DUE INHERITANCE FUNDS HAS BEEN
GAZETTED TO BE RELEASED, VIA KEY TELEX TRANSFER (KTT)-DIRECT WIRE
TRANSFER TO YOU BY HALIFAX BANK COMMITTEE FOR YOUR FUNDS WILLED OVER TO
YOU NOW READY FOR TRANSFER.MEANWHILE, A WOMAN CAME TO MY OFFICE FEW DAYS
AGO WITH A SWORN AFFIDAVIT FROM HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE CLAIMING TO BE YOUR
TRUE REPRESENTATIVE,AND THAT YOU HAVE AUTHORIZED HER TO
RECEIVE YOUR FUND ON YOUR BEHALF.HERE ARE HER INFORMATION'S
NAME DEBBIE SMITH.
BANK NAME: CITI BANK, NEWYORK.
BANK ADDRESS:NEW YORK,
USA ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428.
PLEASE, DO RECONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE, AS A MATTER OF URGENCY IF THIS WOMAN
YOU SO THAT THE HALIFAX BANK PLC LONDON WILL NOT BE BEHELD RESPONSIBLE FOR
PAYING INTO THE WRONG ACCOUNT NAME. THE RESERVE BANK GOVERNOR, EXECUTIVE,
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE SENATE COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE INHERITED
FUND HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND ACCREDITED THIS REPUTABLE BANK WITH THE OFFICE
OF THE DIRECTOR,INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE / FOREIGN OPERATIONS, TO ENSURE
THAT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE RECEIVE THIS FUNDS PAYMENT AS SOON AS THIS
MONTH.WE HAVE RECORD IDENTIFYING YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THIS PAYMENT SO
THIS FUND IS ON YOUR NAME AND MANDATED THAT YOU SHOULD NOT HESITATE TO
MAKE CLAIM OF IT. HOWEVER,WE SHALL PROCEED TO ISSUE ALL PAYMENTS DETAILS
TO THE SAID MRS. DEBBIE SMITH IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU WITHIN THE NEXT
SIX WORKING DAYS FROM TODAY.
MEANWHILE DO INDICATE TO ME IF YOU IN ANY WAY RECEIVES THIS LETTER
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
EXECUTIVE OPERATIONAL MANAGER
HALIFAX BANK PLC LONDON