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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "icbc bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- "industrial and commercial bank of china" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "ICBC BANK THAILAND" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 13:35:33 +0700
Subject: INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA (ICBC)
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA (ICBC)
BANGKOK THAILAND BRANCH.
Branch 11-13 Fl., Emporium Tower 622
Sukhumvit Road, Khlong Ton, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
I am Dr. Joe Williams , the Managing Director of the Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China Bangkok Thailand Branch.
Few Months after the swearing in of our new Prime Minister, Ms. Yingluck
Shinawatra, held A meeting on the 29th Day of November 2012 at the capital City
of Thailand (Bangkok). The Purpose of the meeting was to address the spoiled
image of our country, the United Nation was so concern about foreigners
complaining about their contract /inheritance payment and also some Scam
Victims, The government of Royal kingdom of Thailand has sign a Draft of the sum
of US$300,000.000. 00 Three Hundred Million United States Dollars only to the
Central Bank of Thailand to pay 100 victims the sum of US$3,000.000.00.Three
Million United States Dollars each.
Secondly, on the meeting held with all banks including the CBT Governor. On the
25th Day of April 2013, your name was listed and approved for this payment as
one of the victims and our bank ICBC was among the listed bank to pay the Ten of
you the sum of US$3,000.000.00.Three Million United States each.
The Central Bank has issued us the cheque sum of US$300,000.000.00 Three Hundred
Million United States Dollars. We have resolved in finding a solution to your
problem, and as you may know, we have arranged your payment of
US$3,000.000.00.Three Million United States Dollars) through our ATM CARD
(AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE) which shall be deliver to your door step, this is the
instruction given by our New Prime Minister (Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra) Royal
Kingdom of Thailand. These include cash and frozen assess to compensate those
who have been attempted or victims of fraud by some imposters/fraudsters in our
This Bank will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in
an ATM MACHINE in any part of the world. But the maximum is ($15,000) Fifteen
Thousand Us Dollars in three transactions per day. However, every other thing
has been put in place for safe delivery of the ATM CARD to your Door step.You
are hereby advised to stop fast your dealing with any one regards to the issue
of inheritance payment, Lottery Payment,Contract Payment/investment of any sort
and even some Non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act now and will
have to stop if you wish to receive your payment compensation immediately Via
ATM card payment you are advice to get back to this office with the following
information's below so that we can get back to you quickly through my direct
email address email@example.com with full details on how to receive
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Address where you want the payment center to send your ATM CARD:
(3) Phone and Fax Number:
(6)Initial payment amount
We shall be expecting to receive your information's as you are advised
to stop any further communication with anybody or office.
Lastly, in receipt of your email and the required information's above, I shall
forward your file to our International Remittance Department for immediate
processing and dispatch of your ATM Card to your
nominated address without any further delay.
Dr. Joe Williams ,
ICBC Bank Bangkok Thailand.