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:
- "million united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- "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: "WORLD BK GRANT" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 04:38:30 -0800
Subject: URGENT ATTN;
World Bank has continued for the year 2012 project WITH BUDGET OF USD200,000,000,000,
(TWO HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS)
giving out amount of money to
individual in various countries. Normally, they suppose to use through
government to disburse this amount but we found out 80% are not use for
what we are given out to them so in this juncture we have chosen to use
individuals for this year to alleviate poverty around the world. The sum
of $50 million United State Dollars has been approved and authorized by
the World Bank to deliver to you in cash or by bank transfer in your
country with immediate effect. The major reason for giving this amount of
money is for you to use it to help the Orphans, Widows and all poor people
around you. The following information is your Payment Reference code to confirm your
payment with the Bank. Payment No.-674632, Password No.-339331 ,Pin Code
No.-55674 and Released Code No.- 0763. Having received these vital payment
number, therefore please contact the paying Bank (BARCLAYS BANK)EMAIL CONTACT,,,
(firstname.lastname@example.org) CONTACT THEM
immediately so that they will pay you and fax you the payment Copy Slip.
Get back to me with WITH ANY UPDATE. I wait to hear from you.
World Bank Communications Officer and,
Managing Civil Society Fund,
Europe and Central Asia Region,
33 Canada Square Canary
Wharf London E14 5LBAvenue
Llanished CF14 5DX,