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:
- "trunk box" (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: "Nicholas Brumsey" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:55:58 -0000
Subject: IMPORTANT NOTICE
I am sure that you are not aware that USD2.6M was moved to our bank (Reliance Bank UK) in your favor as the beneficiary. The money arrived our bank as cash via trunk box in company of two government officials from Nigeria since May, 2014 and the money in question was deposited in a domiciliary account in your favor. The two officials later submitted bank account where the money will be transferred into, but because the account details they submitted to transfer the USD2.6M into from the domiciliary account was not in your favor, my department (Funds Transfer Department) did not transfer the money.
The USD2.6M has stayed more than six (6) months approved for banks in United Kingdom by the British financial governing body to keep NON RESIDENTS fund in a domiciliary account without in- flow and out-flow of fund. For this reason, the management of our bank has decided to move the money to government treasury as unclaimed fund, if the beneficiary should fail to claim the money on or before 11/28/2014. I took it upon myself to contact you directly, though it is against the financial laid down rules & regulations of financial institutions.
I will give you more details on how to claim your fund upon receipt of your response.