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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "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. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rosemary Nulu" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 11:01:05 -0500
Subject: BE ADVICE, YOUR ATTENTION IS NEEDED.
JABATAN AKAUNTAN NEGARA MALAYSIA
OFFICE OF THE ACCOUNTANT GENERAL
NO. 1 PERIARAN PERDANA, PRESINT 2
62594 PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA
Our Ref: ACCGEN/WAMU/BJN/ZZ057
After several attempts to reach you I deemed it necessary and urgent to notify you finally about your outstanding settlement of your overdue fund. I resumed duty recently as The Accountant General of Malaysia, to Harmonize and reconcile public debts (SUB SECTION IFM POLICY). This office was set up by the WORLD BANK, to reconcile and COMPENSATE all foreign Contractors/Inheritance Award winning claims with a part mayment of $4,500,000.00 (FOUR MILLION AND FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY). It has been scheduled to be paid to you through International Certified Bank Draft, cashable in the bank of your choice. I am committed to upholding and defending the constitution and laws of WORLD BANK as well as achieving a higher level of public safety and security through the prosecution of criminals.
The purpose of this office among others is to investigate, verify and settle all outstanding debts owed and records before me. I have revealed that your payment has not been effected as a result of official negligence as many irregularities had happened in the Bank where some top officials of the Apex Bank collaborate with impostors who are carrying fake portfolios misled and misguided YOU about the position of your fund and having the opportunity to extort money from you. The security of your data and transactions is crucial to us, we therefore apply one of the best security standards available (128 bit SSL), this (SSL) applies to the business relationship and supplements any agreements made by individual contract.
Meanwhile, Did you authorise anybody to claim your fund on your behalf? we need your urgent response because your file had problem due to a petition filed by one Mr.Edgar Carlos from Peru claiming to be your Attorney and that you have handed him the ownership of your fund .
He sent us the acoount below claiming that it where your money will be paid into:
BANCO DE CREDITO DEL PERU.
N° de cuenta 245-13592091-1-42 ,
C?digo SWFT N° BCPLPEPL .
Based on the information we received, it is mandatory and compulsory that you reconfirm your contact information to us for further advice and also for the programming of the information in the micro chip compartment of this commission if actually you are not aware of the change of account for immediate release of your fund.
MR. AZIDA BINTI ABDUL AZIZ
Office Of The Account General