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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barclays Bank Plc" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2012 15:29:52 +0200
Subject: REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT
BARCLAYS BANK PLC.LONDON
CLAPHAM JUNCTION BRANCH,
7 ST JOHNS HILL,
SW 11 1 TN, LONDON
REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT
This is second time we are notifying you about the statue of your fund right now in my desk. After due vetting and evaluation of your Inheritance file which The Ministry of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Forwarded and contacted us to see to your immediate payment.
We write to inform you that, this office has arrange all the necessary document for our Telex Department for immediate programming them into our payment system .But we can transfer the fund into your account yet until you get the (NON RESIDENTIAL CERTIFICATE) submit to this bank for immediately transfer into your account. We shall update you with next correspondence as soon as we confirm the documents. Thanks for your co-operation.
>From our findings you have been going through hard ways by paying a lot of charges to see to the release of your fund ($15, 000, 000, 00) which has been delayed. We advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence from Nigeria. You don't have to pay any charges to receive your Inheritance fund anymore as you have met up with the whole requirements, your representatives in Nigeria will tell you to still go ahead with them but on your own risk.
The only thing required from you is to obtain Non-Resident Clearance Form/Receipt which we are not asking you to pay the fee to us here in United Kingdom as the Government of Nigeria have paid us for handling/processing of your payment with other customers. We will help you to see hat you obtain the form so that our bank will affect immediate transfer of your Inheritance sum ($15,000, 000, 00) in to your designated bank account.
If you follow up our directives your fund will reflect in your account within five working Bank days from the day you obtain this form. Do not go through anybody again but through this Bank if you really want your fund.
Head, Private Banking Section.
Ed, Foreign Payments
Mr. John Rob