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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Tue, 27 May 2014 01:04:54 +0300
Subject: YOUR RESPONSE IS NEEDED URGENTLY
Good day !!!
Definitely, I know that this letter will be a surprising one to you.
You are been officially contacted by me today because of your Funds, which have been programmed in to the new adopted measure of the FUND PARCEL system. Today at about 2:00P.M (Standard Pacific Time), I was alerted by the customer care service that Three men were at the Bank waiting to see me and so I told them to let them in to my office, to my surprise they were two Americans and one Nigerian Attorney, and they introduced themselves as (Mr. Tim Parker, Mr. Roland Gulf, both from United States of America) and accompanied with them was a Nigerian Attorney with the name (Barrister Kola Williams). Really these men were unexpected by me because their visit was impromptu. I had to ask them why they came to see me in person and they said that they were here to Collect your Atm card which nobody has access to accept you the rightfully bonafide beneficiary.These foreigners actually claimed this beyond reasonable doubts.
At this development I asked them who authorized them to come down to this Bank for the Collection of this Package and they told me that you asked them to come and collect it on your Behalf. Infact this was the biggest shock that this Bank have ever received so far because your FUND PARCEL is ready for delivery, yet you sent these men to come and collect this Funds on your behalf without notifying us. Here,in the SKYE BANK PLC, we do not understand why you sent these men to come and Collect your FUND on your behalf. If actually you want them to help you Collect your package, at least you should have informed us formally.
They actually tendered some Vital Documents which Proved that you actually sent them for the Collection of your FUND which means that your package must contain something very important and valuable. Honestly, it really baffled me that you took such decision without the consenpt of the Bank.
Here are the Document which they tendered to this Bank today:
1. LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION.
2. HIGH COURT INJUCTION.
3. ORDER TO RELEASE.
Actually, these Documents which they tendered to this Noble Bank is a clear Proof that you sent them to Collect your card on your behalf. Finally, I told them to come next week Tuesday and they promised to come back. As the officer-in-charge of all foreign remittance payment, I was supposed to release this package to them but I refused to do so because I wanted to hear from you first. Due to the Nature of my job, I will not want to make any mistake in releasing your FUND to anyone except you whom is the recognised bonafide beneficiary to this package,which we know is you.
Kindly clarify us on this issue before we release this important package to these foreigners whom came here on your behalf.
In receipt of this confidential letter, you are required to get back to us now. Feel Free to call for further information immediately Tel: +234 8074168402. We await your urgent response.
Mr James Godwin.
Tel: +234 8074168402