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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Victor Adom <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Victor Adom <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 02:34:01 +0100
Subject: SEEKING YOUR COOPERATION FOR MUTUAL BENEFITS.
My dear friend,
Compliment of the day to you.
I am a banker and I have packaged a transaction that worth six million five hundred and thirty thousand united state dollars ($6,530,000.00);accrued from compensations by contractors whom where assisted with loans from the bank without the normal collateral when I was in position to do the business. The compensations were made by the contractors after returning the loan within the stipulated time. This was not detected by the renowned auditors from my head office and I can not keep the amount in my custody as a civil servant.
I have moved the funds into what the bank call Escrow Call Account with no beneficiary. Meanwhile as you know I can not be directly connected to this money for obvious reasons. So my contacting you is to assist me receive the funds in your bank account in your country; which I know is possible if you liaise properly with me and get 30% of the total funds as your benefit.
I want you to stand as the depositor/beneficiary to the fund and apply to the bank international remittance department for the transfer of the fund to your nominated bank account for our benefits. I will compute your particulars as the person who made the deposit in my branch, so that my head office will immediately order the transfer to your nominated bank Account.
The transfer will be made via swift and it will be a Bank-to-Bank wired transfer. Can I trust you and can you work with me?
If you are willing to work with me, get back to me so that we will go into the detail of the transaction and to conclude the transaction for our benefits.
Mr. Victor Adom.