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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Bank Alert" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 15:53:08 +0100
Barclays Bank Ghana
OUR REF: BLUK/435/X0/027
RE: PAYMENT ON ACCRUED INTEREST OF US$1.5M
I am Mrs. Rose Wilcox, the executive director and Head of Swift Transfer Unit of Barclays Bank Ghana
Sometime ago, in our bank your payment was brought to our bank from Apex Bank, and after some period, this money was taken back to the Government treasury. For the period of time this money was in our bank, it generated an interest of US$1.5 Million, which we are about to be pay to you via Electronic banking transfer system.
For your information and advice, you need to hasten up to pick this Fund because from time to time the Apex Bank auditors do come to our bank to cross-check our files and our financial update, the earlier you comply with the demands of the transferring of the fund, the faster the action, because the Apex Bank officials wants the accrued interest to be paid to them but we refused, so when they find out that this interest fund is still in our bank they will want to call back the money to the Government treasury.
What we need from you now is any form of your identification for example; your international passport or youre drivers license, then your telephone and fax number for easy communication with your receiving bank account details.
As a matter of fact we dont have enough time to waste since we have wasted time in contacting our respective customers, so try and comply with the entire necessary requirement for remittance. Contact me on our official email. email@example.com expecting your immediately response.
For your information we are paying you for now US$1.5M
Your urgent response is imperative
Mrs. Rose Wilcox
Barclays Bank Ghana