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:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "Reserve Bank of India (RBI)" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 12:48:53 -0800
Subject: KIND ATTENTION
REPUBLIC OF INDIA
Reserve Bank of India
Director of Foreign Transfer Department
6, Sansad Marg, New Delhi - 110 001, India.
This personal letter will finally come as a surprise to you am highly pleased to
inform you of this wonderful good news. I have on my desk an outstanding payment
of USD 5.5Million (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) of your contract
sum with the Republic of India for transfer to the below account:
ACC NAME: MRS. CHERIE VANSICKLE,
BANK/NAME: GREEATER IOWA CREDIT UNION
BANK ADDRESS: LEDD E, 30TH DES MOINES, IOWA 50317 USA,
This payment was stopped because several applications have been forwarded with
different account informations with several affidavits of claim requesting for this
transferred .I am sure you are not aware of this and the reason why this payment
has not been released up till now, even after you have spent so much time and
Investigations carried out by my office shows that these applications are not the real
owners of this payments and their intentions is to divert this payment to a wrong
beneficiary. Are you aware of this? your email address is boldly written on your file,
hence I am using it to contact you.
In view of this development have therefore approved this payment to be delivered to
ou in by bank to bank transaction whom the bank uses for international assignment
such as this and also in government circles honestly believe that you will show
appreciation to me if you receive this payment in cash through this arrangement.
It is important that I inform you that during the cause of our investigation, we
discovered that you were among the beneficiaries of contract payments who went
into wrong hands to get their payments and were eventually duped, deceived and
they became frustrated, hence you are advice to discontinue any communication
whatsoever you are having with anybody who is promising to help you in getting
this payment. Because no other person can release this payment except me as i am
directly in charge of every payment approved by the government such as this.
For your own security reasons, this special arrangement should be kept very
confidential between you and this office only. You are kindly hereby requested
to confirm the receipt of this mail and respond to this arrangement immediately.
upon my receipt of your response, I will furnish you with the details of the delivery.
Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
Mr. Adams J. Philip
Director of Foreign Transfer Department
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)