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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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: "Angela R. Baker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2015 03:15:19 -0800
Subject: RE:TAX EXEMPTION NOTIFICATION
Our records indicate that you are a Non-resident, and that you are exempte=
d from the United States of America Tax reporting and withholdings on inter=
est paid to you on your account and other financial benefits. To protect yo=
ur exemption from tax on your account and other financial benefits, you nee=
d to re-certify your exempt status to enable us confirm your records with u=
Therefore, you are required to authenticate the following by completing for=
m W-8BEN attached and return same to us as soon as possible with a valid co=
py of government issued Identification (eg, International Passport) throug=
h fax number or the email at the bottom of the form.
When completing form W-8BEN, please follow the steps below;
1. We need you to provide your permanent address and US address if any. if =
different from the current mailing address. You must indicate as a Non-US r=
esident, the country you are residing, to support your non-resident status =
and if your bank or other financial institutions you are dealing with has a=
US address for mailing purposes.
2. Please complete 1 through 11 and have all account holder(s) (if more tha=
n one account holder) sign and date the form separately and send to us thro=
ugh the fax number or email at the bottom of the W-8BEN form. Note that if =
your W-8BEN FORM together with a copy of your International passport is not=
received from you after 7days from the day of the receipt of this letter y=
ou will lose your Non-resident status and be listed as undocumented,resulti=
ng in the standard rate of 30% being applied on any dividend or interest in=
come received on your investments/accounts.*
List of required documents:
1.A copy of filled W-8BEN FORM.
2.A photocopy of the photo page of your international passport.
*If you should receive multiple notifications,it means previous filled out =
forms was not properly filled and as such,we need you to refill needed colu=
mns and re-fax or email to us using the details at the bottom of W-8BEN.
We appreciate your co-operation in helping us protect your exempt status an=
d also confirm our records.
Angela R. Baker.
IRS Public Relations