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:
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Robin Sanders" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2016 07:48:00 -0500
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
I am Mrs Robin Sanders, Former U.S.A Ambassador to Nigeria. With reference to your entitlement fund and inline with the CHANGE OF BENEFICARY'S APPLICATION, signed by Mrs. Glenda F. Ward with your purported authorization. This issue has been carefully examined and we have declined Mrs. Ward's application as the application lacks regular signature. But Did you ever instruct Mrs Glenda F. Ward to claim your fund worth US$7.000.000? Below is the bank account information provided by Mrs Glenda F. Ward saying that you authorized her to claim your fund that you are terminally ill.
1. BANK NAME: BANK OF AMERICA
2. BANK ADDRESS: Kerrville Texas 78028 USA
3. ACCOUNT #: 3202650
4. ROUTING #: 114922443
If you had not authorized the change of your bank account in respect to your outstanding entitlement Payment, therefore notify me immediately as the notification / declaration was supported with a sworn affidavit from Lagos high court ref: ilk /jj/202/k2015, dated 27th June 2016 and signed by Mrs. Glenda Ward who claim and stated in the sworn declaration that you authorized her to claim the said fund on your behalf to a different bank account in the U.S.A as stated above because you were terminally ill and the Doctor who is incharge of your case stated that you will not stay more than one Month before passing away.
This development has caused lots of discrepancies in your payment file that is why we had to suspend your payment and prompted to contact you directly before re-validating your payment. You can be rest assured that I will do everything within my capacity to successfully actualize the quick transfer of your fund to any of your nominated bank account.
Kindly get back to me as soon as possible so that I will direct you on what to do.
Mrs Robin Sanders
Fmr. U.S Ambassador