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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- 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: "Financial Fraud Action Group" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:39:54 -0400
Subject: Ref: ($12.5 Million Bit By Bit Payment) - Final Notice!!! 188.8.131.52
It will be to your great benefit if you can simply understand that the Financial Fraud Action Group - FFA is only an investigative Counter-Party in your payment whose duty is to investigate, verify and ensure that the corrupt government of Nigeria releases your fund to you without further problems. You must understand that the FFA plays a Protective role in this exercise all to your own benefit.
Having duly investigated your payment and found that you are the genuine foreign beneficiary of this long withheld and embattled $12,500,000.00, we are left with no other option that to guide you to the Standard Chartered Bank from where your fund will be paid in bit by bit transfers of small amounts ranging from $500,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 per transfer. We have retrieved all your valid documents from the ministries and it is with these documents that you can have the legitimate right to contact the Standard Chartered Bank and request your immediate payment. Without these verified documents which I have here, you do not have any legal backing to go to the bank and demand your payment
Consequently, if you are one of the beneficiaries who have spent any amount of money to the Nigerian government officials in the past, kindly state clearly together with the total amount you have spent. This is because, the we have a policy of compelling the Government of Nigeria to refund all provable extortion meted to non-resident contractors and beneficiaries in the past 15 years.
If you follow my guideline properly, I bet you will see yourself in a great happiness within the next Seven (7) banking days. However, whereas you fail to follow my instructions, neither the FFA I represent nor myself shall be held responsible for your failure to receive your fund this time. All in your hands.
Before I hand these valid & verified documents to you, I MUST have an oral/telephone discussion with you just to ascertain and be absolutely sure that I am dealing with the rightful beneficiary for the fear of so many fake claims on these funds all these years.
This is the reason why the Financial Fraud Action Group sent us from European Headquarters to West Africa and upon completion of this project, we will depart for our respective countries pending further and future assignments.
Call me right away on my direct telephone number here +234 906 -944-3451
If you find it difficult to get through to me, kindly request my immediate call and state your direct telephone number for me to call you without delay.
YOUR DESTINY IS NOW IN YOUR HANDS.
Be guided accordingly.
Mr. Sanuel Palancha
Financial Fraud Action (Intl)
West African Regional Assignment 2017.
Tel: +234 906 -944-3451