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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "offshore account" (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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2017 20:29:51 -0800
Subject: REMMITANCE OF YOUR PENDING 5.8MILLIOM POUNDS
We the Management of ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND wish to congratulate and inform you that after the thorough review of your Pending Inheritance/Contract/ Funds, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Assessment Report Your payment file was forwarded to us for immediate transfer of a part-payment of Five Million Eight Hundred Thousand British Pound (£5,800,000.00) to you From their offshore account here with our Bank.
The audit reports given to us, shows that you have been going through hard times by paying a lot of money to see to the release of your funds, which has been delayed By some dubious officials.
Kindly reconfirm the below information
1. Full Name:
3. Contact Address,
5. Profession 6.sex, 7.scan copy of ID,
Mrs. HELEN WILLIAMS (Head of International Transfer Dept)