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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: mimi APOLO <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:58:48 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONFIRM IF ALIVE
We wish to congratulate and inform you that after thorough review of all unclaimed Contract, Inheritance and Lottery funds in conjunction with the Word Bank and the United Nations Auditors report, your payment file has finally been forwarded to our paying bank for review and immediate payment of your long delayed funds starting with a first transfer of US$1,200,000.00 to your designated bank account in your country within the next 7 working days.Â However, we are surprised to receive another application this morning from your representative, JAY JONES stating that you gave him a Power of Attorney to be the beneficiary of your funds.JAY JONES made us to believe that you are dead and that he is your Next of Kin, hence we got your email address and decided to send a message through this address hoping to find out if you are dead or alive and if at any time you gave him a Power of Attorney to represent you and transfer your funds to the account below:Â
CITIZENS NATIONAL BANKPAINTSVILLE, KY 41240,USAROUTING NO.: 042108216ACCOUNT NO.: 38125015account name: JAY JONESÂ Â Kindly inform us today by email, if you permitted and gave this transfer authorization to JAY JONES to enable us update our records for remittance transfer of this US$1,200,000.00 to your designated bank account.Â For claim of US$350,000.00 prize Â money,kindly send your name andtelephone number by email to Mr Gerrald by email : Â firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.Yours sincerely,Miss Mimi ApoloNotification DeptInternational Banking Dept.Barclays Bank Plc, UK.