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:
- "foreign exchange" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: WORLD BANK GROUP <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 06:25:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RE; YOUR US$121 Million
World Bank Group
International Credit Settlement.
Ref Code: W-IMF/UN/002845-11.
Re; Your Winning Funds of US$121 Million.
This is to inform you that Foreign Exchange allocation of US$121 Million have been granted in your favour, This is based on the submission of your payment file by the Central Bank/Ministry of Finance,Nigeria in conjuction with African Union/United Nations 2011 Debt Eradication Program for its member nations.
The only thing required from you is to furnish special accounts( Corporate or Savings) within your location to enable us credit your account directly by telegraphic wire transfer or through any of our corresponding banks and send copies of the funds transfer release documents to you and your bankers for confirmation.Should you follow our directives, your funds will be credited and reflect in your bank account within three (3) bank working days from the day you met this requirements.
You are kindly advice to forward the following information.
Your full Names:
Telephone/Cell & Fax Numbers:
Dr. Joseph Lopez(Head of International Transfer Dept)
World Bank Groups
This email may contain information which is privileged and confidential. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender Immediately and this office will not be held liable for your non-compliance to this mail