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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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.
- +447024092685 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Howard" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 17:58:22 -0700
Subject: Re:Re: Notice
>From The Desk of Ryan Howard
Director Telex Department Lloyd Bank TSB
60 The Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 1NG
This is to inform you that the Lloyd Bank TSB has received an irrevocable payment instruction order form the World Bank instructing this institution to debit their Reserve Trust Account and credit you with the sum of $10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars Only) due to you as your inheritance benefit. With a payment code: WEX/2010/XXVI-190076/VOL IV
This decision was made by the World Bank based on the monetary restriction policy that was introduced by the United States Government and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on funds emanating from Africa, Asia and Middle East.
Prior to this, we have also received a counter instruction from your Lawyer/partner that the said funds be credited to the account stated below:
BENEFICIARY BANK AND ADDRESS
JOHN ANDREW JENDRYCKA
201 SOUTH WATER STREET
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 4126330111
SORT CODE: 123070760
PURPOSE OF PAYMENT: INHERITANCE
We urge you to immediately confirm this instruction or after 24hours from now the Lloyd Bank TSB will effect transfer earnestly to the above stated account and discharge our duties accordingly.
Finally, feel free to reach me on the email address stated for confirmation.
Director Telex Department
Lloyd TSB Bank