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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "international remittance department" (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.
- 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.
- +447045734213 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448709741509 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "HSBC Bank London Office" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 08:15:37 -0700
Subject: IN RESPECT TO YOUR FUND IN THE USA
HSBC BANK PLC LONDON.(REGISTERED NO.1026167).
ADDRESS: 8 CANADA SQUARE LONDON , E14 5HQ ,
Direct Telephone Number: +44-70-45734213
Fax Number: + 44-870-9741509
We the HSBC have been appointed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and U.S Department of State on debt relief to effect your long over due payment to you as the legal recipient.
We write to inform you that Series of meetings have been held over the past 2 weeks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and U.S Department of State on debt relief. It was discovered that you have not received your funds due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of you in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the release of your fund.
This notification is to let you know that your full payment of Twenty One Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only is already in the USA.
All arrangements have been finalized to ensure that you receive your funds without further delay and in other to avoid any hiccups; we have sought for the relevant documentations that will enable our offshore payment officer in the USA complete the entire process for the release of the said fund to you as the legal recipient.
The paperwork needed to finalize of the entire legal process will cost money but our offshore payment officer in the USA have already secured an investor who is to take care of these expenses on your behalf.
The agreement with the investor is that you will reimburse him whatever he spends for the release of the funds to you only after you receive the funds. You are not going to spend any money of your own for you to receive the fund.
If you accept and agree to these terms, please let us know by reconfirming your full name, address and direct phone number. You have 48hrs from now to get back to us.
Mr. Douglas J. Flint.
Chairman International Remittance Department (HSBC Bank PLC London )