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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "ROBERT S. MUELLER" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 23:34:27 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, (FBI).
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, (FBI).
CYBER WIRETAP& FUNDS RECOVERY DEPARTMENT,
FBIONLINE INTERNET FRAUD& SCAM UNIT.
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE,
NW WASHINGTON, D.C
20535, USA .
We believe this notification meets you in a very good state of mind and health. The FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) Washington, D.C United States of America in conjunction with some other relevant Investigative Agencies here in the USA have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you have a pending FUND transaction with a Bank regarding to an Inheritance Funds or Lottery Prize Award payment which was fully endorsed to be paid in your favor. It might interest you to know that we have taken out time in screening through this whole transaction as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that FIRST EQUITY TRUST BANK PLC LONDON is the only authorized financial institution scheduled to make your payment in line with their remittance requirements. Several investigations by us have shown that you have been dealing with some unauthorized persons and banks regarding the transfer of these
funds to your bank account.<
Our UK attachee agent recently had a meeting with the Manager of BARCLAYS BANK PLC in the person of MR. NAIL WHITE along with some other top officials of BARCLAYS BANK PLC LONDON regarding your case and they made us to understand that your file has been held in abase pending when you personally file for your claims. They intimated him that the only problem they are facing right now is that some unscrupulous element are using this project as an avenue to scam innocent people off their hard earned money by impersonating to be STAFF OF BANKS and its affiliates.
We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Joan C. Bailey from Ohio, United Of America has already contacted the Bank and also presented to them all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your funds to her, though they insisted on hearing from you personally before they could go ahead on wiring the funds to the Bank account information provided by the above named Lady. It is basically one of the main reasons they contacted us to enable us assist them in carrying out proper investigation and subsequently informing you of their mandate to Remitting your funds. Most importantly we advise that you discontinue further dealings with any person or organization posing as staff or affiliate of any bank or agency concerning the transfer of your funds. In your own interest, You are advised to immediately contact BARCLAYS BANK PLC LONDON on the following details for
the onward remittance of your fun
BANK NAME: BARCLAYS BANK PLC LONDON.
CONTACT PERSON : MR. NAIL WHITE.
ADDRESS: P. O. BOX 738, Eagle Court 75 King Street,
Hammersmith London, W6 9HY, U. K.
Direct Tel: +(44) 207 1797777.
Tel / Fax: +(44) 7005-942-0285.
Private Banking Section: +(44) 7017418269,+(44)7031842871
Contact eMail: email@example.com
Official Website: www.barclaysbank.co.uk
Ensure that you comply to all the Barclays Bank Plc remittance procedures and also furnish the bank with your full details like: (Your Full names and Your Address, Your Direct telephone and Fax Numbers, Source of funds, Expected Amount, etc) to enable the Bank in their verification processes before the release of your funds to your bank account without any problems. Thank youfor your understanding !
ROBERT S. MUELLER, III
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
TELEPHONE: +1 (202) 000-0000.