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:
- "cashier's check" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 07:42:41 +0800
Subject: Treasury Department of Foreign Assets Control
U.S Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control
(OFAC)U.S Treasury Department
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
This email is to notify you about the release of your outstanding payment which is $3,500.000.00 USD. UK's new prime minister has scheduled a time frame to settle all foreign debts which includes Contract/Inheritance/ Gambling/ Lottery (sponsored by Microsoft and National Lottery) including other international loans. News had it that over the past, numerous individual(s) who happened to be impostors (pretending to be individual, banks or organizations to try to gain financial or social advantages) have claimed to release enormous sum of fund via different means.
With the help of U.S Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI), we have noticed that people have being asked to pay outrageous amount of money by these impostors for the transfer of their funds to them. We hereby strongly advise you to stop all mediums of communication with these fraudsters who have been requesting unreasonable sum of money from you to release your funds which they do not have access to.
For some time, this scammers have been taking advantage of this situation in order to claim this funds and get your information for them to be able to get the funds in their possession which is the reason why the U.S Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Asian Union Clearing House (AUCH) to have the funds moved to you and once the delivery charges which was stated on the email that was sent to you, the funds will be converted to an ATM Master Card or Bank Draft Check/Cashier Check depending on what you want or you can as well prefer bank to bank wire transfer.
However, we have received a mandate from U.S Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to commence the immediate release of your funds through one of the following payment options stated below depending on your choice:
1. Payment via Automated Teller Machine Card (ATM): With the use of an ATM card, you will be able to obtain cash withdrawal of $10,000:00 USD per day and other banking services will be available.
2. Certified Cashier's Check or Bank Draft: This mode of payment is also treated as guaranteed funds, you will be sent a certified bank draft or check, guaranteed by our bank and signed in your favor which you will deposit in any bank for it to be cleared within 3 to 5 working days.
3. Online Banking/ Internet Banking/ Bank To Bank Transfer: This allows customers to conduct financial transactions on a secure website, to enable you operate this, $250 USD is required for opening of an online banking operation, that will enable you get access to your account online.
All of these methods of payment is to provide some security and reassurance that the recipient is receiving his/her funds from us.
Below is the list of tracking numbers, you can track from FedEx and UPS website to confirm people whom have successfully received their payment safely.
Name : Mrs. Jeannie Michael: FedEx Tracking Number: 794588016471 (www.fedex.com/Tracking?cntry_code=us)%3cbr>
Name : Mrs. Vista Rayne Arnold: FedEx Tracking Number: 796925954101 (www.fedex.com/Tracking?cntry_code=us)%3cbr>
Please note that you are advised to select one of the three options on how you wish to receive your $3,500.000.00 USD. Your online banking access, ATM card or cashier's check/bank draft will be shipped via courier shipping company and would get to you within 2 working days at most.
For international shipping, as stated by our company we will have to sign a contract with the courier for bulk shipping which will make the fees reduce from the actual $320.00 USD to $180.00 USD. You are guarateed nothing more and no hidden fees of any sort will be charged.
Please refer to the officer responsible for the shipping of your ATM card or cashier's check/bank draft with the required information for shippment.
Department's Officer: Mrs. Jennie Hammond
Phone:- +1 706-200-1169
Provide the following information:
The officer Mrs Jennia Hammond will provide you with instructions on how you are to make payment of the $180.00 USD only for the shipping of your ATM card or cashier's check.
You are to adhere strictly to the instructions above for more information contact the Department's Officer Mrs Jennia Hammond.
Cecelia M Lum.