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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Judith Shumejda <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2016 22:03:30 +0100
Subject: Hello: Urgent Response Required
*INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION.*
*FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL DEPARTMENT*
*Millbank Tower,21-24 Millbank,*
*Westminster,London SW1P, UK.*
*REFUND AND FUND COMPENSATION APPROVAL LETTER.*
*This is to inform you that this office received payment advice from The
International remittance department to pay to you the total amount of
US$1.2 Million. Note that a final approval has been given to your claim and
your funds have been transferred from the International Finance Corporation
World Bank Group which has the final authority to transfer out of the
shores such amount of Fund.*
*We have just received an email from one Mr. Belal Gesilva-Rasay who
introduced himself as your next of kin. His email states that you have
instructed him to receive the funds into his account on your behalf. Mr.
Belal Gesilva-Rasay informed us that you are dead also that the instruction
was given to him before your death. We have asked him to forward the copy
of the letter you gave him but have not yet heard from him.*
*THIS IS THE ACCOUNT DETAILS HE FORWARDED TO US:*
*Bank Name: Halifax Bank*
*Address: High Street Bromley, BR1 1JH United Kingdom*
*SWIFT CODE: MSDKBGHUT.*
*Bank Account No: 239-1-563-321.*
*Beneficiary: ROS LTD. (Belal Gesilva-Rasay)*
*We are writing you to confirm this message and if it is not true, you are
required with immediate effect notifying us of the need to rectify this
fallacy. Please note that a government issued identification would be
required to ascertain the authenticity of your claim.This office would also
furnish you with details on how to obtain the transfer Authorization code
which proves you the rightful beneficiary of this fund as we don't want the
fund to get to the wrong hands. Since that is what our correspondent bank
in USA needs for the transfer of your fund to your designated bank account.*
*We await your urgent response.*
*Foreign Assets Control Department.*