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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- +447045757089 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Robert Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 17:32:22 -0000
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
25 Gresham Street,
Compliment of the day. My name is Robert Williams. I am writing to seek your co-operation over this business proposal,I am the Auditor and Non- Executive Officer of the above mention bank here in United Kingdom. First I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue as being utterly confidential and top secret. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried.
My contacting you is based on a secret discovery of a dormant account with a total sum of £36,500,000.00 GBP (Thirty Six Million Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling) in a domiciliary account. During our Bank's Annual Year Account auditing. I earnestly need your full co-operation in in transferring this money out of our bank to any part of the world. What i want you to do is this, Stand as the beneficiary to claim the funds and receive the funds into your business or private bank account. It will be in my interest to work and finish this transaction with you. If you can be a collaborator to this transaction, the banking law and guideline here [BANKING CODE OF ETHICS] stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after ten years,the money will be transferred into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund.
All documents and proofs to enable you get the money will be carefully packaged once I receive your consent on this proposal. I shall apply for a leave as soon
as the funds get into your reliable account to come to your country for sharing and investments which you will assist me in doing. May I assure you that this is safe and risk-free transaction. Thank You for taking out the time in reviewing this request, as I will stand by the strength of your response, and look forward to speaking with you soon. Our Sharing mode is 40% for you and 60% for me. Please indicate your positive interest immediately for us to proceed if not please ignore, Remember this is absolutely confidential because my Bank does not know about it.
Auditor and Accountant
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Mobile number: +44 704 5757089