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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Charles Holliday Jr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Dr Charles Holliday Jr <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 01:12:39 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER NOTICE.
>From The Desk of: Dr Charles Holliday Jr..
Bank of America.
Branch Offices New York.
1680 Broadway, New York.
NY 10019, USA.
Vice Chairman on Investment Banking
Director, Credit Control Dept.
Attn: The Beneficiary,
TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER NOTICE.
We are hereby officially notifying you concerning your fund telegraphic
Transfer through our bank, Bank of America, New York, to your bank account,
which has been officially approved by the management of World Bank Swiss
(WBS) to credit the sum of US$18.5 Million into your bank account.
Note that I have started processing your payment and every thing concerning
the immediate remittance of your funds will be carried out within the
shortest possible time from the time we received your? Below needed
Also be informed that the
Governor of Bank in London (BL) will sign on your
payment advice and a copy of the advice will be sent to the World Bank in
Swiss for some record purposes. Meanwhile your information and your full
contact details were received from our research manager, Barr. Paul Peterson
on your behalf to FRB for immediate release of your fund
This fund was part of the lodged Late President Saddam Hussein of Iraq
discovery fund with World Bank of Switzerland, which the Swiss Bank has
decided to distribute it generously to help few lucky individuals and the
American Government is in agreement with the Swiss Bank to distribute the
fund to 700 hundred thousand people in America, Europe & Asia in other to
help improve their businesses.
Therefore, reconfirm the aforesaid information accurately, because this
office cannot afford to be held liable for any wrong transfer of funds or
liable of any fund credited into an unknown
These are the information we needed to be reconfirmed by you.
1.Your Full Bank Account Details
2.Your Direct Cell or office phone to reach you
3.Your address of locations
4.Your full name
Finally, you are required to reconfirm directly to me the above information
to enable me use it to process your bill of payment.
Your quick response shall be mostly apprÃ©ciatrice; all your response should be
directed through our alternative email address for the immediate attention of
the credit control department.
Dr Charles Holliday Jr
Vice Chairman, Director, Credit /Telex Department.