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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Thomas Kohler" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:28:40 -0500
Subject: Greetings and Good news
My name is Dr Thomas Kohler. I am an independent external auditor for the World Bank handling the Foreign Banks Debt Management Office.
I have in front of me an abandoned transfer file containing details to an escrow account setup in your name. The file shows that you have correctly made application to have your funds released to you. It is also clearly noted on the file that the beneficiary could not handle the financial commitment required of him. Due to this the funds were pegged and abandoned.As an international independent external auditor i think it is very absurd to abandon ones funds for this simple reason.
To tell you the truth i do not believe this to be true and my reason is simply because of the irregularities i noticed while compiling the audit report for the end of the financial year.
I have perfected plans to have this funds transferred to you within the next 24hrs. Upon your confirmation i will give you further directives.
Dr Thomas Kohler