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:
- "to your nominated bank 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)
- "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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447017048194 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: NOTIFICATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2013 04:04:54 +0530
Subject: Barclay's Bank Plc-Foreign Operations Dept:
Barclay's Bank Plc-Foreign Operations Dept:
1 Churchill Place, London,
E14 5HP, United Kingdom,
Dear Honorable Beneficiary,
We wish to inform you that the board of trustees and management of Barclay's Bank International Plc London has finalized and have being given an Immediate transfer approval order by the British Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the United Nations and Executive members of Bank of England, following with the instructions we received from Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth, the Queen of England. to transfer your overdue Inheritance fund to you, the approved sum of US$ 10.700,000,00 ( Ten Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) also be informed that we are prepared to give you the best of services in this Honorable Bank with a guarantee that your Approved Fund will be wire into your nominated Bank
(1) By Bank to Bank Wire Transfer
The management & board of trustees of this bank wish you to fill out the transfer form with your contact details and your direct phone number also with your banking information for the immediate processing of the legal document that will enable us carry out the transfer of your fund successfully to your nominated bank account or your contact address without any further delay.
We are waiting your immediate response with your information below to enable this bank proceeds immediately with the transfer of your fund and serve you better.
Valid Phone number............
Any Of Your Identity Card........
Thank you for choosing Barclay's bank plc.
Dr. Robert Brown,
BARCLAY'S BANK PLC LONDON.