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:
- "sent to you via courier service" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "SCOTLAND BANK PLC" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 19:25:40 +0200
Subject: Urgent Response !
We Are Pleased To Inform You That Your Email ID Was Discovered Amongst The Short listed Foreign Beneficiaries Who Are To
Receive The Sum Of USD$10.5Million.It Was Submitted To Our Bank By The Hon.Minister of Trade & Investment.We Shall
Programmed Your Payment Through Our Swift Card Payment System Powered By ATM visa/Master Card and Shall Be Sent To You Via
Courier Service.The Maximum You Can Withdraw Per Day is (USD$5,000.00) Five Thousand Us Dollars,while you can shop to the
limit of every card and Each Transaction VISA/MASTER CARD Is USD$5.250000 Minimum.
We need Your Full Name,Your Receiving Address,Phone and Fax Number,Age and Occupation,DRIVERS LICENSE OR ITERNATIONAL
PASSPORT.Contact Me For More Details And Direction.
(Mr SPHEIR HAMBA)
GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO.
SCOTLAND BANK PLC.