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:
- "transfer into your 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)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "accredited attorney" (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: thomas woth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 08:40:44 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Greetings to you Friend
I am Mr Thomas Woth.I feel quite safe dealing with you in this business proposition although,this medium(Internet)has been greatly abused,I choose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest,surest and most secured medium of communication.However,this Correspondence is unofficial and private, and it should be treated as such.
I wish to inform you that this letter is not a hoax or Scam mail and I urge you to treat it with the seriousness it deserves.I also guarantee you that this deal is hitch free from all what you may think of.I am Mr. Thomas Woth My office monitors and controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions here in United Kingdom concerned with foreign claim payments.My office has the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks both on the local and international levels in line with foreign claim settlement.
I believe we can do this transaction together in good faith. The share would be 50% for you and 50% for me. I would want to take care of the needy and less privileged, as this is my primary objective. It is a legacy of 4.4million pounds legacy. Upon the acknowledgement of this email, details of this proposal would be given to you.Following my idea that we can have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally with your name as the bonafide beneficiary of the amount in question by employing the service of a uk accredited attorney, who will handle all the legal documentations and lay claims through his legal authority on your behalf.Listen 50% of this money will be for you,in respect to the provision of a foreign account and 50% would be for me as have planned to come to your Country as soon as the transfer is completed ,
1) The sum of £4.4M only will be transfer into your account after the processing of all relevant legal documents with your name as the bonafide beneficary,the transfer will be made by telegraphic Transfer(T/T),conformable in 7 working days.
2)This deal must be kept secret forever,and all correspondence will be strictly by email/telephone, for security purposes.
3)There should be no third parties as most problem associated with your fund release are caused by your agents or representative. If you Agree with my conditions,i will advise you on what to do immediately and the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the 7 working days mandate.
I hope you don't reject this offer and have this fund transferred.
Waiting for your reply soon.
Mr. Thomas Woth