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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",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)
- "offshore account" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- private email:email@example.com date:friday, 27 july, 2012. dear sir/ beneficiary , i am (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: James Anderson <info@HSBCCo-operationbanklondon.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:08:41 +0200
Subject: + Can You Help Me With This Assignment+
Compliment of the day to you and your family+®
HSBC Co-operation Group .
Address: HSBC Holdings Plc
8 Canada Square London E14 5HQ
Direct Tel: +44-792-457-0777
Date:Friday, 27 July, 2012.
Dear Sir/ Beneficiary ,
I am Mr.James Anderson. the Executive Head offshore account department
at HSBC Plc, London , personally I communicated with you to disclose a
mutual outstanding transaction which will benefit us about
$125,000,000 (One Hundred And Twenty-five Million U.S Dollars)within
the next weeks as soon as you are willing and ready to co-operate in
During the auditing and closing of all financial records at the HSBC
Account Department 2011 annual Debit and deposited fund confirmation,
it was discovered from the records of outstanding Investment fund
deposited by a foreign Investor (Mr. F.JOEL WAWORUNDENG ) this
Investor deposited the sum $125,000,000 (One Hundred And Twenty-five
Million U.S Dollars)has been floating since 2009 with HSBC Plc
,Offshore Investment account and after my Investigations to locate the
beneficiary (Mr.F.JOEL WAWORUNDENG) Address at Indonesia to found out
this man was among the people who died at the Tsunami disaster in 2011
,Also all efforts to get the relatives of this beneficiary was abortive.
On a second attempt ,I also review the offshore Investment
documentations which was deposited at my department and also confirm
that this fund was deposited as Investment Lodgement deposit by the
contractor whereby the customer have not registered anybody/company
name as next of kin to this fund. Prior to my confirmation on this
Investment fund documentation I realized on the documentation that
this fund was not declared to the British Government during the time
of deposit by the deceased beneficiary.
I therefore seek your assistance to stand as his next of kin for this
Investment fund , since all documentations and proof of this deposited
fund are on my department we can put a claim proposal letter to HSBC
Bank , to re-claim the deposited funds through the British
International Investment proclamation ACT which will enable the HSBC
London to release and transfer the heir/ fund to your Bank account.
Moreover,with my position at HSBC account Department we can
successfully claim the fund and you will get 40% = US$50,000,000
(Fifty Million U.S Dollar) of the $125,000,000 (One Hundred And
Twenty-five Million U.S Dollars)as your personal share and I will get
60% as my share .
The claim process for this transaction will commence as soon as you
are willing and ready to keep this deal confidential so we can work
together , the fund will be transferred to your designated Bank
account by as soon as you start the claim process at the account
I will fill you in with further details upon your reply .You can call
me directly on this private telephone number so that we can discuss
more on how to transfer this funds to your designated account in your
Reply to my private email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Head offshore Banking and Investment Dept.
Computer & IT Director
HSBC Co-operation, Liverpool
Branch office London.
Make It A Great Day! and Treat As Confidential
Thank You; I Hope You Are Having A Great Day!