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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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.
- +447005921528 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.ALEX GOODWILL" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 11:25:36 -0400
Re: Bank Payment Notification/Wire Transfer Approvals
We wish to inform you that you have been recommended by my Bank, to pay you the sum of US$2,500,000.00 which is based on the understanding and current proposed legislative payment agreement.
Our Bank as a member of the financial services compensation scheme established under the financial services and market act 2000 as at 31 Dec, The Bank is subjected to pay all outstanding debts within the European Economic Areas and Deposits denominated in all currencies and treated alike.
To ensure we carry out our normal payment procedures accurately and to help in continually improve our services and interest of security; we therefore demand that you send your proper identity to confirm your person as the beneficiary. We shall also require you to confirm your acceptance to receive funds.
Please indicate correct telephone number, address and receiving Bank details. Any information that is not correct may likely prohibit us from making transfer. Your information will be treated with utmost security and shall be used for services related reasons.
We would like to inform you that our Bank shall be making transfer to your account once we have received your full acceptance replying this mail. We shall open a Non Resident Investment account in your name with our Bank and then shall provide you with e-online Bank details to enable you make online transfer if you wish.
Further inquiries about HSBC Bank could be ascertain on Tel: +44 700 592 1528 ext 1
Mr. Alex Goodwill
HSBC Bank Plc