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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Garry Fields <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 22:52:51 +0100
Federal Reserve Bank
Office Address:33 Liberty Street, New
York, NY 10045, United States
Contact Name: Mr. Garry Fields
Dear Valued Customer,
REF: - INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF
This is to inform you about the latest RESOLVED by the Board of
Directors in respect of your (UNCLAIMED) overdue Inheritance fund,
Which Was forwarded to us from World Bank to credit your account,
which is in their custody for a long period time. Also, we wish to
inform you that your money has been forwarded to the remittance
department of this noble Bank through Mr. Patrick Brown (Banking
Solutions and Trade Department) who will direct you on how you will be
receiving your money and an escrow account has been open with your
information and your money was deposited into the escrow Account, this
compensation fund was approved by the new president of World Bank and
some top officials in its organization, do comply immediately.
Meanwhile, you are advised to contact Mr. Patrick Brown, who will
direct you on how you will be receiving your fund.
Key People ---William H. Rogers, Jr. (Chairman & CEO)
Head Office Sun Trust Plaza, 303 Peachtree Street Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30308-3201
Phone (470) 2310544, toll-free 1.80.786.8787
SWIFT (BIC) SNTRUS3A
Do contact him and get back to me because your file has been forwarded
to his office.
Now re-confirm and forward the below required information to the Bank
immediately to avoid wrong transfer:
1. Full Names:
2 Residential Address:
3. Tel:/ Fax:
4. Bank Name:
6. Telephone/Fax number:
8. Next of Kin
9. Country of Residence
10. A copy of your driver license / international passport:
Mr. Garry Fields