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:
- 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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "cost of transfer" (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. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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: "Rev. Pastor John Molnar." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 19:28:07 +0100
Subject: The Truth About Your Funds.
I hope this mail gets to you in good faith.Let me start by introducing myself to you, I am Rev. Pastor John Molnar and a banker by profession with banking experience of 24years.Presently, I am working with the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) at the transfer department and am in charge of Foreign Transfer Department.I want to use this opportunity to let you know that I came across your file that was painted Red and marked X and your transfer has been puton pending and hold for so long. I took time to carry out my investigation and only to find out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees but the fund was not released to you. Note that the actual funds are valued at $8.5 Million USD.
I'm writing to confirm if you are DEAD or Alive because I am looking for all means to get this fund across to you or your family.I needed to do this because you need to know the statues of your Funds and cause for the delay, please this is like a Mafia setting in Nigeria, and you may not understand it because you are not a Nigerian.I am only doing this because I have the fear of GOD in me and I hate to see people been cheated. The only thing needed to release this fund is the COST OF TRANSFER(C.O.T).
This is to describe the Cost of Transfer fee and how much it will cost . Transfer fee is a mechanism for dividing the net interest income of a financial institution such as,International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Banks among it's constituent business units (such as the deposit, treasury, and the credit groups). Transfer fee makes use of transfer rates to divide the net interest income into manageable components by separately identifying the spread earned from interest rate risk and the spread earned from risks managed by the lines of business such as credit risk. The transfer rate for funds is an interest rate representing the value of those funds to a financial institution IMF and it is mandatory to pay for your transfer fee.
I shall be looking forward to hear from you if you are still very much alive.
Do get in touch with me immediately with my direct number +2348136870232 and email: email@example.com to conclude this final transaction immediately,and also send to me your convenient-tel/fax numbers for easy communications.
I remain your brother in the Lord Almighty.
Rev. Pastor John Molnar.
Foreign Transfer Department.