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:
- "transferred into your bank 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: michael baker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 11:04:47 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$5Million)
REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$5Million)
This is the second time we are notifying you about this said fund. After due vetting and evaluation of your file that was sent to us by the Nigerian Government in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This bank has an instruction to see to the immediate release of the sum of (US$5Million) of your claim that has been holding since is transferred into your bank Account from their Domiciliary Account with this bank.
We were meant to understand from our findings that you have been going through hard ways by paying a lot of charges to see to the release of your fund (US$5Million), which has been the handwork of some miscreant elements from that Country.
We advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence from Nigeria, or anywhere concerning your funds as you have met up with the whole requirements.We know your representatives in Nigeria or anywhere will advice you to still go ahead with them, which will be on your own risk.
Your (US$5Million) will reflect in your designated bank account within five Bank working days. Do not go through anybody
again but through this Bank if you really want your fund.Finally,
you are advice to re-confirm these to us;Your Full Name,Contact address,Occupation,TelephoneAnd Fax Number for easy
Mr Micheal Beker,Assistance Secretary,NatWest Bank, London United Kingdom. Here is my private! Email address (email@example.com)