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.
- 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.
- +447031914231 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Lain Mackay <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 23:29:43 +0100
Subject: Season Greetings
I am Mr Iain Mackay present Group Finance Director of HSBC Holdings
plc. London UK , this is to officially inform you about the current
development we have here in the management, your name was released
among the first Foreign beneficiaries on BATCH 697XXX to be
compensated for the year 2014/17 who are to receive the first payment
of $8.3m United States Dollars, due to certain misconduct and lack of
intense security your money was diverted to the reserve Bank of London
for security purpose.
This is to officially announce to you that your funds has been
referred to us because of our level of legitimacy,and strategic
planing in FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND ASSETS RECOVERY, in some cases
like this most of the rightful benefactors do no longer exist. For
this reason we try our best by contacting them through email for
proper investigation to know if they are dead or alive or either
reach any of their family members to inform them of the development.
kindly contact me with the telephone number below. as we would want
you to immediately reconfirm to us the required details below.
SCAN COPY OF ANY VALID ID OF YOU:
NEXT OF KIN:
Please kindly note that the confidentiality of this email would be of
paramount importance to us in-terms of security to avoid any form of
Mr Iain Mackay.