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:
- 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:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +447024064536 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447045793800 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Vladimir Amherst" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 08:42:23 +0100
Subject: Pending fund
BRITISH FINANCE MONITORING UNIT
London EC2R 8AH. England
Attn: Fund beneficiary
It has come to the notice of the British Finance Monitoring Unit LONDON, ENGLAND that the sum of US$13.4 Million United State Dollars has been credited in your name for telegraphic wire transfer to your operative bank account and is currently floating in the International Banking Community Financial Data Base as an unclaimed Fund.
Under the stipulated Law of the Government of Great Britain and Wales and other member countries of the United Nations, Funds up to Certain amount that is floating in the International Banking Community Financial Data Base waiting to be transferred without claims for a period of 6 months or more shall be confiscated and forfeited to the United Nations account. We do hereby ask you to contact the below assigned person who is in charge of your fund immediately for ratification of this notice or consider your fund confiscated. For further information do not hesitate to contact the undersigned with your name, Address, direct telephone number, direct fax number.
CONTACT YOUR ASSIGNED PERSON WITH THE INFORMATION BELOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
NAME: Mr. Griffith Saunders
Tel#: +44-702 406 4536
Actions in Event of Delinquency" may be required if you do not act accordingly. You are required to transfer this fund to your bank account in a period not more than 14 working days otherwise consider your fund confiscated. If you require any further assistance on this subject please do not hesitate to ask your assigned agent for clarification.
Dr. Vladimir Amherst (Director)