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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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: "Dr. Richard Gilster." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 22:03:15 -0800
Subject: Dear Beneficiary : Immediate Resolution Of Your Outstanding Fund Transfer.3.Opts.RD.VN.F7.
*This message was transferred with a trial version of CommuniGate(r) Pro*
I hope that this correspondence is received with the urgency
and expediency required.
It has come to the notice of the Board of Trustees at the CBN
that your present inheritance claims application being handled
by the Remitting Bank in Nigeria is experiencing some man made
irregularities.To this effect,it has become necessary for the Board of
Trustees to invite trained Fund Transfer Specialists from the United States
to resolve and regularize your fund release with immediate effect.
We at Richard Gilster Consults have been duly consulted by the
CBN Board of Trustees and have been fully informed about how the
staff of the remitting bank have been taking advantage of you by
telling you to pay unnecessarily exorbitant charges which will only
make your fund payment a long drawn out process.
Due to this we have decided to step into the process of your fund
transfer to enable your funds to be transferred within the soonest
possible time you are to get back to us immediately without needing
to pay all the huge sums of monies that are being demanded from
you by the remitting bank.
All processes to have your funds paid to you immediately through the
CBN's Liaison Remittance Office in New York have been initiated
to cut out unnecessary costs.You are advised to keep this communication
highly confidential as the CBN Board of Trustees have asked us to resolve
this fund payment independent of the office of the CBN Governor to identify
the the principal participants in this unethical payment procedure.
Furthermore,you are hereby advised to pay no further fees or charges to the
Remitting Bank in Nigeria as they shall no longer be handling your payment
We shall await your immediate correspondence with your direct telephone numbers
for re-confirmation to to my confidential email address at ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
so that we may conclude your payment immediately.
Dr. Richard Gilster.
Richard Gilster Consults.