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:
- "clearance document" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million us 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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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.
- 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.
- +447006091329 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 20:18:01 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Your fund Release Notification From Barclays Bank Plc
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dear Fund Beneficiary,
I am Sir, David Walker, the Current Barclays Group Chairman, this Branch of Barclays Bank Plc has been appointed by the World Financial Governing Authorities, (IMF, WBG, UN) to handle transfer of 10.5 Million US Dollars to you proclaim to be part of a contract payment, Inheritance or Lottery Winning.
As part of a legal procedure, the fund has been cleared with your data, free from terrorist and Money Laundry, copy of the clearance document will be send to you upon your reply, you are therefore requested to reconfirm your full information, including copy of your Identification for final transfer process.
Looking forward in hearing from you,
Desk Of The Chairman, Sir. David Walker
Barclays Group Chairman
1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP
Registered No: 1026167, London, UK
Telephone: +44 700 008965
Fax Number: + 44 700 6091329