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:
- "anti-terrorist certificate" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "foreign remittance department" (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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "PATRICK WILLIAMS" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 05:41:58 -1200
Subject: ATTN: ABOUT YOUR CARD
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT
WIRE TRANSFER/AUDIT UNIT
Our Ref: FB/NF/UN/XX027
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Going by series of petition received from International Body on the way your inheritance fund was handled by our correspondence office.After Extensive close door meeting with Board of Directors and other Stake holders in the Government, Subcommittees of the House Of Assembly and the House of Rep. It was Resolved and Agreed upon that your inheritance Fund would be released on a special method of payment ,which tag Name Reads SWIFT CREDIT CARD.
This method of payment is designed by the Government to avert fraud perpetration or stoppage of fund by Some Agencies. Either Through Anti-Terrorist Certificate or other certificates. This Swift Credit Card would be issued to you upon meeting with the Bank Requirement. This office, has Been Mandated to take charge of the Issuance of the SWIFT CREDIT CARD . And that your inheritance payment file should be passed to my desk for clarification .Upon Certification that your file is ok. This Office would Direct you on how to receive your over Due inheritance fund via SWIFT CREDIT CARD.The SWIFT CREDIT CARD would be delivered to you via Courier. In the light of this aforementioned, You are required to furnish this office with the following information:
1,Your Full Name
2,Your Full Address
3,Your Next of Kin
4,your date of Birth.
5,Your telephone number and fax.
This Information would be used in opening of an account here .It's from here that the ATM would be used in issuance of The SWIFT CREDITS CARD in your favor with the Credit card Number and all your information inserted into the card. Upon completion of this issuance of the Credit Card,It would be send to you via Courier to your residential Address.Urgently furnish this office with your Contact information in order to reconfirm if it's in line with the one contained in our payment data. Be informed that your fund has been called back and it's now in a suspense Account here in Our Bank. A new Account has to be opened in your Name Before The Swift Credit Card is issued.
Waiting for an urgent response.
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT(ATM CENTER)