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:
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Financial Service Authority" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 13:01:27 -0300
Subject: RE:Credit Instruction .
Attn: Email Owner,
Compliments of the season? This Letter is from Financial Service Authority (FSA). This is to inform you that our International Transfer Department has taken over to pay all delay and mishandling transaction originated from Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe and America. We have received a payment credit instruction from World Bank In conjunction with IMF to credit your account with the approved sum from their reserve account with our bank. However, Your active e-mail was in the list submitted by FSA e-mail electronic diversity monitoring team observers and We have try many time to contact you but your email bounce back, you are hereby required to provide the followings details below for proper procedures.
1. Your Full Name with your valid Address.:
2. Your Direct Tel Number.:
3. Attachment copy of your International passport or Diver's license.
Please do provide the above information accurately, because this office cannot afford to be held liable for any wrong transfer of funds or liability of funds credited into a ghost account We have been authorized by World Bank In conjunction with IMF.
To that effect: all modalities has been put in place for the onward remittance to you, in the form of International Certified Bank Draft and this will enable only you to have direct control over your funds by depositing the Draft into your personal Bank account by yourself and we will monitor this payment process by ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by the officials of the Banks.
We appreciate the opportunity to serve you .
Yours in Service,
For: The Management.
Financial Service Authority (FSA)