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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Greek Ministry of Finance <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:07:35 -0500
Subject: Notification on your Payment Release
NOTIFICATION OF PAYMENT
This is to inform you that the (Greek Ministry of Finance) Hellenic Treasury has received an irrevocable payment instruction order from the World Bank and African Union Committee of Foreign Contractor/Inheritance Payments Board instructing this institution to debit their Reserve Trust Account and credit you with the sum of US$5,500,000.00 (Five Million, Five Hundred United States Dollars Only) due to you as your Part-Payment Entitlement own by Central Bank With a PAYMENT CODE: CBN/GRMF/2014/XXVI-190076/VOL IV
This decision was made by the WORLD BANK in conjunction with the US GOVERNMENT, UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION and AFRICAN UNION on foreign payment matters, because of the Euro zone Financial Crisis and based on the monetary restriction policy that was introduced by the United States Government and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on funds emanating from Africa, Asia and Middle East.
Prior to this, we have also received a counter instruction from your Lawyer/Partner that the said funds be credited to the account stated below:
BENEFICIARY BANK: CHASE BANK
ADDRESS: 201 SOUTH WATER STREET
BENEFICIARY NAME: LOUIS HENRIK JENDRYCKA
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 4126330111
SORT CODE: 123070760
PURPOSE OF PAYMENT: INHERITANCE / CONTRACT EXECUTED
On receipt of this detailed information, we urge you to re-confirm this within 48 Hours as your non-compliance should be passed as a confirmation that the (Remittance Department) of the National Bank of Greece herein should proceed with the transfer earnest to the above stated account and discharge our duties accordingly.
For: Hellenic Treasury,
Mr. Petros K. Sabatacakis
Greek Ministry of Finance