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)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "George" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 11:05:17 -0800
Subject: Notice TPP
This is to advice you that we have received a swift notification for a compensation
payment of the sum of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars(US$3,500,000.00)only in a transit account with you as the listed beneficiary.
This fund can not be applied for since you do not maintain any account
with the appointed paying bank. We therefore invite you to avail yourself of the opportunity of
opening an offshore account with them.
They are a fully affiliated offshore bank where you can have full access to
your banking needs at no government taxes or interference. You can
immediately open an account with this bank as soon as we hear from you with small amount of opening deposit.
An account with them will give you the privilege of enjoying the on line
services provided, you will be able to access your file on line with the
bank and know exactly when your funds will be deposited to your bank
account opened and you will be able to unilaterally do transactions, pay
bills and transfer money from your account to any bank of your choice on
line all by yourself.
As soon as your account is opened on line we will immediately credit your
new account with the funds now in the statutory holding account.
Following this development, please complete the below requred confirmation:
1) FULL NAME
3) PRIVATE PHONE.
4) NATURE OF BUSINESS AND POSITION
For further inquiry please contact me urgently.
Tel : +44 844 774 7958
FAX:+44 844 774 7931