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.
Fraud email example:
From: "World Bank." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 15:48:35 -0500
We have being authorized by the governing body of the WORLD BANK monetary unit to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment. During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by some corrupt officials who were trying to divert your funds into their private accounts.
Since the World Bank completed the acquisition process of all pending payments, it was resolved and agreed upon that all uncliamed lottery/Inheritance/Contract Funds would be released through the Automated Teller Machine Payment System.
The security of your funds will be organized in form of your personal identification number (PIN) and this will enable your direct control over your funds.
Based on this World Bank assisted programme, we are happy to inform you that your funds will be credited into your ATM CARD. The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) payment system gives you a direct access to make withdrawal from any international bank anywhere in the world.
You are therefore advice to contact this office for the process, issuance and delivery of your ATM card.
I look forward to your prompt response.
Directorate of World Bank Assisted Programme.
World Bank Headquarter, Washington DC USA.
The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from your computer.