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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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.
- +447035908655 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Waitey Fing" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2011 06:58:03 -0700
Subject: Re; Benerficiary
Foreign Operations Unit
Processing & Payment Department
File Ref No: CCHS/97531/ROYAL-OX1/10
Reference to the letter of nomination forwarded to us by the Debt Recovery
Committee regarding your part payment sum of US$9,000,000.00 dollars deposited
into our account with the HSBC Bank in London UK, our foreign payment operations
have reviewed the allocation for further credit to your new changed nominated
account as stated below.
Bank Name: Bank of Australia and New Zealand
Address: Antarctic Branch, Floor 3/287 Collins St,
Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
Account No: 224837-ANTC
Account Name: Brian Constructions
However, your information as provided above have been posted to our operational
paying bank, the HSBC Bank in form of transfer instructions for transfer of your
allocation into your nominated account. Please call the customer service of the
Bank on +448452800840 Ext. 1, for any further change, quoting the above file
reference number and within 48hrs as no change of information will be effected
after transfer of funds.
For any further inquiry please contact the undersigned officer immediately as
funds will be retrieved to treasury after ten (10) business days of this notice.
Mr. Waitey Fing
Head of Customer Service
Foreign Operations Unit