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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Bk; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- +229 99139811 and forward all information to email firstname.lastname@example.org email email@example.com thanks and remain blessed, (Bk; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Joyce Carter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:07:43 +0200 (SAST)
Subject: CONTACT HSBC BANK FOR ONLINE TRANSFER
HSBC BANK ENQUIRY
BEFORE I COMMENCE I WILL LIKE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO YOU, MY NAME IS Mr
ALEX AGU , THE NEW DIRECTOR OFFICER OF HSBC BANK BENIN REPUBLIC WEST
AFRICA, I WANT TO USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INFORM YOU THAT I WAS NOW THE
DIRECTOR AND IT HAVE NOT BEEN A MONTH NOW, SO I WENT THROUGH THE SCHEME
OF WORK OF THIS HONORABLE BANK AND FIND OUT THAT YOUR NAME AND YOUR
FUND VALUED $40.500.000.00) FOURTY MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED
STATES DOLLARS WAS HERE FOR FOUR MONTHS.
SO IT AMAZED ME SO MUCH AND THEN I WENT TO THE OFFICE OF IMF BENIN AND
REPORTED THIS TO THEM TO KNOW WHAT IS THEIR VIEW AND THEY TOLD ME THAT
BANK FORMER DIRECTOR
WAS THE ONE THAT CAUSED ALL THIS HE COLLECTED MONEY FROM PEOPLE AND THEN
REFUSE TO WIRE THEIR FUNDS TO THEM, SO MY DEAR THE LORD I SERVE WILL NOT
ALLOW SUCH TO HAPPEN HERE IN MY SEAT, SO I HEREBY DECLARE TO YOU NOW TO
GET US YOUR FULL INFORMATION SO THAT YOUR FUND WILL BE WIRED INTO YOUR
ACCOUNT IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT WASTING TIME, I DO NOT LIKE BETRAYING
PEOPLE AND NO ONE WILL DO SUCH TO ME.
THIS IS WHAT WE NEEDED FROM YOU NOW SO THAT YOUR FUND WILL BE WIRED
THROUGH THIS BANK IMMEDIATELY WE HAVE YOUR INFORMATION IN THE SYSTEM BUT
PLEASE RECONFIRM IF
THERE IS ANY CHANGE.
YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER:
NAME OF BANK:
BANK USER NAME:
COPY OF ID:
YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER:
ONCE YOU FORWARD THIS TO THIS BANK I ASSURE YOU THAT YOU ARE TO RECEIVE
YOUR FUND WITHIN 72 HRS , IF YOU ARE ABLE TO CALL ME, CALL THIS LINE +229
FORWARD ALL INFORMATION TO
THANKS AND REMAIN BLESSED,
DIRECTOR HSBC BANK BENIN REPUBLIC
PHONE +229 99139811
CONTACT HSBC BANK FOR ONLINE TRANSFER