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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barrister" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- 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)
- regards to this notification to this email respectively: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. yours faithfully mr.bernard goupil (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "EuroClear Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 04:36:45 -0800
From: Mr.Bernard Goupil
EuroClear Bank United Kingdom
Our Ref: EUCLEAR-00XX11/641/015
IMMEDIATE CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT
We wish to bring to your notice about the due process of your outstanding Contract/Inheritance payment which was suspended by the management of this Bank by stopping the telex unit to pause the transfer of your contract/inheritance funds to your nominated bank account.
During the auditing of all financial records in our Bank (EUROCLEAR BANK UK), it was discovered from the records of outstanding payment with our Bank that, your name is next on the list of those who will receive their funds.
As a result of this development, verification conducted by credit department in conjunction with the Debt Verification Panel on your contract/inheritance fund, your file has been endorsed for immediate payment awaiting your confirmations.
Meanwhile, three men came to my office few days ago with a letter, claiming to be your true representative. They were two CANADIANS and a BRITISH BARRISTER and they introduced themselves as Mr. Timothy Stephenson and Mr.Andrew Scott and the Barrister's name David Green.
Below is the information they presented to my office:
BANK NAME: BANK OF AMERICA
BENEFICIARY OF THE ACCOUNT: MR.ANDREW SCOTT
BANK ACCOUNT: 260880559653
SWIFT CODE: USBKUS44IMT
ACCOUNT ROUTING NUMBER: 104000029
As the Financial Director of this Noble Bank, I was supposed to Release your Funds to them but I refused to do so because I wanted to hear from you first. Due to the Nature of my job, I would not want to make any mistake in releasing your Funds to anyone except you whom is the Recognized Bona fide Beneficiary to these Funds.
Please we would like you to confirm to this office immediately if these men are truly from you or not, so that our bank will not be held responsible for paying into wrong account. You are also requested to fill and forward the information below for verification purposes so that your fund valued U.S$5.5million dollars will be remitted into your nominated bank account
(1)Your Full Name And Address:...................................
(2) Your Age And Marital Status:.................................
(3) Your Occupation:.............................................
(4) Your Telephone Number:.......................................
(5) Your Nationality:...........................................
(6) Your Bank Details............................................
As soon as we receive the above requested information, we will proceed with the process of remitting your funds into your bank account.
We are sorry for any inconvenience the delay in transferring of this fund must have caused you. We are waiting for your urgent response in regards to this notification to this email respectively: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Euroclear Bank United Kingdom