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:
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Richard Edward" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 07:45:48 -0800
Subject: RE-CHANGE OF ACCOUNT
ATTN: RE-CHANGE OF ACCOUNT,
THIS IS IN REGARD TO OUTSTANDING PAYMENT, I AM DR.RICHARDS EDWARD; THE NEWLY APPOINTED DIRECTOR UNITED NATIONS; LEGAL AFFAIRS, SECURITY AND INVESTIGATION, THE SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON AND HIS DECISION MAKING BODY, HAS DIRECTED ME TO INVESTIGATE YOUR FUND AND TO MAKE SURE THAT WE APPROVE ALL OUTSTANDING DEBTS OWNED TO FOREIGN BENEFICIARIES BY THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA/BRITISH IN THIS FIRST QUARTER OF THIS FISCAL YEAR 2012.
THIS DECISION WAS TAKEN BASED ON THE ANOMALIES AND INABILITY OF THE BANKS IN NIGERIA/LONDON TO RELEASE YOUR FUND INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT; WHEREBY IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT SOME DIRECTORS IN THESE BANKS WERE DIVERTING FOREIGN BENEFICIARIES PAYMENT TO ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF THEIR CHOICE OVERSEAS. IN VIEW OF THIS, DURING OUR INVESTIGATION I FOUND OUT THAT; AN ACCOUNT WAS SUBMITTED TO DIVERT YOUR FUND TO A GERMANY ACCOUNT. BELOW IS THE ACCOUNT SUBMITTED AND I WANT YOU TO CONFIRM IF YOU ARE AWARE OF THE NEW DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE WE ARE ABOUT EFFECTING PAYMENT TO THE ACCOUNT STATED BELLOW TODAY.
BENEFICIARY: CERSTIN WENGER SHENOUDA.
BANK: FRANKFURTER BANK
A/C NO.: 367840545
SWIFT CODE: 50050201
FINALLY, BE INFORMED THAT A PAYMENT INSTRUCTION HAS BEEN ISSUED AND FORWARDED TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONITORY FUND IN FAVOR FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND TO THE ACCOUNT ABOVE WITHOUT ANY FURTHER PREJUDICE. BUT THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN APPROVE THE FUND TO YOUR ACCOUNT WITHOUT YOU CONFIRMING IF YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR ACCOUNT FOR YOUR FUND TO BE TRANSFER TO THE BENEFICIARY: CERSTIN WENGER SHENOUDA BANK ACCOUNT IN GERMANY.
CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATION TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE GIVING INSTRUCTION TO TRANSFER YOUR FUND TO THE ABOVE ACCOUNT TODAY. ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE MANAGEMENT OF UNITED NATIONS, WE ARE CONGRATULATING YOU IN ADVANCE AND IF YOU FAIL TO CONTACT THIS OFFICE ON OR BEFORE 78 HRS FROM NOW THEN WE WILL NOW WIRE THE FUND TO THE GERMAN ACCOUNT.
THANKS FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION.
WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT RESPONSE
UN OFFICE OF LEGAL AFFAIRS
SECURITY AND INVESTIGATION