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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "barr." (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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Timothy F. Geithner" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Timothy F. Geithner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 20:28:37 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: ATTENTION FROM DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Â DEPARTMENT OF INT'L AFFAIRSÂ (Office of the Under Secretary)Â 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,Â Washington D.C. 20220.
Â Urgent Attention,Â
I am Mr.Timothy F. Geithner, Under Secretary for International Affairs of the United States Treasury Department and was sworn in as the 75th Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury in a ceremony attended by President Barack H. Obama, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., see below: http://www.treas.gov/organization/bios/geithner-e.shtmlÂ
Following series of complains from Citizens of the United States as well as Citizens of Other Countries In Europe over the Discrepancies and fraudulent ways in which fund transfers are handled by Africans which has made it impossible for a lot of People to claim their Winning or Inheritance funds from most African Countries due to frauds and illegal activities, A decision was reached recently by the United States Treasury Department under the authority of the White House to compel African Financial bodies (Banks) to urgently release all funds of American and European citizens that are trapped in most Banks and Courier Companies in Africa. It was discovered that some bureaucratic bottlenecks was put by these Banks and Couriers to make it impossible for beneficiaries to claim their funds so that they will fraudulently divert those funds to their private accounts.Â
Consequent upon the aforementioned, I was personally mandated to handle this matter to ensure that all funds of our Citizens and others which are fraudulently being trapped in African Banks are urgently retrieved and paid to the actual Beneficiaries under a legal manner. Our team of experts were delegated to Benin Republic, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana for this task and we discovered your File NO: BR227/9005666/00 as unclaimed fund.It was discovered that officials of the Bank has only put up illegal requirements in order to make it difficult for you to claim your fund.Â
The United States Department of Treasury has retrieved all Files of illegal transactions and we will be working under a legitimate arrangement to ensure that you follow the normal process to receive your fund.Â
You are requested to Re-confirm the following information to Barr.Anderson J.Bernard by e-mail: (email@example.com)Â
1. SURNAME............Â 2. OTHER NAMES................Â 3. PHONE NUMBER AND FAX......Â 4. ADDRESS...........Â 5. AMOUNT TO BE CLAIMED: $36.500,000.00 USDÂ
Be informed that the above information will only enable us to make due confirmation. We shall ensure that normal process is followed to ensure that your fund gets to you without delay.Contact Barr.Anderson J.Bernard who is right in Benin Republic as the Legal Practitioner to United States Department of Treasury e-Mail below:email:( firstname.lastname@example.org ) Call Barr.Anderson J.Bernard on his phone for urgent attention: +229 98464908Â
Warm Regards,Â Mr. Timothy F. GeithnerÂ Under Secretary