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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "foreign exchange" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM CENTRAL BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 23:00:37 +0100
Subject: DID YOU GET MY MASSAGE
CHANGE OF YOUR NAME AND ACCOUNT PARTICULARS ON YOUR PAYMENT
Following the directives received from OUR Bank, as a result of petitions and counter petitions, by your inability to conclude the transfer into your account. I Hon Aliu Jebba have been instructed to confirm if really you have appointed another person to take over the payment that was approved to you as beneficiary?
Your name was among the listed beneficiaries released for immediate payment, you are to confirm the approval about the change. Be informed that below is the account submitted for the payment.
You are hereby required to verify the following immediately.
1. Did you broker your debt to one Mr. Emad Salem Al Rashed. From Kuwait, whose passport photograph is hereby attached below, to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
2. Did you sign any Deed of Assignment in his favor thereby making him the current beneficiary with the following account details?
FIRST COMMERCIAL BANK TAAN BRANCH
30 CHUNGKING SOUTH ROAD, SEC 1, TAIPEI
SWIFT CODE: FCBKTP OBU
BENEFICIARY EMAD SALEM KHALEL
You are required, as a matter of urgency, to confirm the legitimacy of the above claim and kindly give us reason why you decided to effect the above change of account. If you are not aware of this claim, please confirm to us immediately.
Due to the delay, this payment has suffered, be rest assured that immediately these payment irregularity are cleared, and this office confirm the transfer, the legal owner will receive the fund into his account. Note that we are bound to recognize Mr. Emad Salem Al Rashed claim, if you fail to promptly respond to this inquiry following the Deed of Assignment he submitted authorizing him to claim this payment.
Hon Aliu Jebba
Director, Foreign Exchange Allocation.