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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MR PETER <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: MR PETER <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:55:26 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: URGENT POSITIVE TRUST FROM UK,
Â URGENT POSITIVE TRUST FROM UK,
I got your email contact through a personal search and
decided to let you know about this packaged financial transaction that will benefit us. I am Mr Peter Sands, the Group Executive Director/ Group Finance Director of the Standard Chartered Bank PLC. On the course of the 2012 end of the year's report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the Chief Auditor i had Fourty MillionÂ Five Hundred Thousand Pounds (40Million,5 GBP) of which no body/staff or director is aware of and will never be aware of, (I have also PLaced This Fund On Escrow Call Account in one of our Bank for Eeasiest Transfer Fund)
meanwhile this fund can be transfer to you As the Group Finance Director, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am compelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account. This fund will be shared between us in the ratio of 50% for me and 40% for you . while 10% for any incurable expenses that will come during the transfer, Please If you accept my offer, kindly contact me for more details. In course of this transaction, (there are practically no risk involve) please this is very confidential transaction please.
I will appreciate your timely response.
NOTE: Please if however, you are not disposed to assist,
kindly delete this email in view of the confidentiality and
let me know as soon as possible to enable me look for