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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "INTERNATIONAL CLEARING HOUSE," (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2011 01:24:37 +0330
Subject: From Compensation Headquaters......
INTERNATIONAL CLEARING HOUSE,
OUR REF: 10667ADB
YOUR REF: 89007/2010
Good day to you!!
This is to intimate you of a very important information which will be of a great help to you if you are there to read this message.
I am Mr. Jay Sundaram the Finance Director Of the Compensation Office North Asia District.
There is presently a counter claims on your funds by one Mr. Joseph , who is presently trying to make us believe that you are dead and even explained that you
entered into an agreement with him, to help you in receiving your fund. He is also ready to pay for the release charge of $290 USD on your funds which makes
us want to make this last confirmation before going ahead to pay this Mr. Joseph Wales.
Here comes the big question. Did you sign any deed of assignment in favor of (Mr. Joseph Wales)? Thereby making him the current beneficiary the sum of
$2,500,000.00 with the following account details? Mr. Joseph Wales, Acc/number: 6503809428. Routing number: 122006743, b/name: Citi bank, address:
New York, USA, we shall proceed to issue all payments details to the above named person if we do not hear from you within the next five (5) working days.
Respond to this e-mail on (email@example.com) with immediate effect and we shall give you further details on how your fund will be released. Just like i said
earlier supposed beneficiary Mr. Joseph is ready to pay the only release charge on your funds which is $290 USD, if we allow him pay this fee that
automatically makes him the owner and the money will be transferred into his account so do respond to this message if you are alive so that we can be sure of
doing the right thing due to the huge amount of money involved. Also call me as soon as you send the e-mail so that you will be given an immediate response:
If you are alive then i want you to email me and i will be giving you instructions on how to receive your funds.
Get back to me with the below information so that i can inform you how you are to send the only needed charge of $290 for the release of your funds which we
told Mr. Joseph not to pay yet until nothing is heard from you in 5 working days which will make us believe that truly you are no more and that Mr. Joseph Wales
Mr. Jay Sundaram
ASIA UNION CLEARING HOUSE