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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: bank groupafdb <email@example.com>
Reply-To: bank groupafdb <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:06:53 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear beneficiary!
Â AFDB BANK GROUP
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK GROUP
>From the Desk of Dr. Donald Kaberuka.
African Development Bank Group.
I am Dr. Donald Kaberuka, the President, African Development Bank.
This is to bring to your notice that my office has taking over all the
money transaction originated from any part of Africa and Europe
countries as contract payment, Fund Inheritance or Lottery Winning due
to Unauthorized/incapability of financial Institutions/security
companies in releasing such huge sum of money due to Fraud, terrorist
and money Laundry activities going on world wide. The World Bank Group
has Mandated the African Development Bank (ADB) via my Office to
release funds to beneficiaries through a means preferable by them,
Hence Your E-mail/Name appears as one of The fund beneficiaries whom
their fund was successfully cleared for payment.
Your money will be released to you through a means preferable by you
either by .
(1) Bank to Bank Wire transfer
(2) Online banking system
(3) Payment through Delivery of ATM MASTER AND VISA CARD,
to avoid paying excess charges. You are therefore advised to re-confirm your direct telephone numbers,
Your complete name and your address to us for immediate release of this money, Most importantly be aware that (Five Million United States
Dollars Only (US$ 5, 000, 000.00) was allocated to you as the approved amount due to you.
B e also informed that all the documents regarding this approval and authorization has been issued. Therefore be aware that your funds has
obtained all her clearance to be released to you. For a quick follow-up,
Dr. Donald Kaberuka.