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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Gloria Luisa Rivera Cruz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 20:04:02 +0000
Subject: SUSPECT: Payment: Reply-To: email@example.com
I have received emails and phone calls from unknown persons who claimed to be your representative, requesting the change of your information. A man in person of James is requesting a wire transfer, as your next of kin/relative, to a strange bank account in Canada. He is purported to be your cousin. Did you by any means authorize Mr. James Bill Hills or anyone else to claim your long awaited sum of Five Million Nine Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($5,900,000.00 USD)?
His details are listed below for your verification:
Full Name: Mr. James Bill Hills
Address: 425 velde street,Creve ceour, il 61610
Zip Code : 61610
Marital status: divorced.
Profession: retired realtor broker.
314 Harwood Ave. S unit Hpo5 ajax, ont. L1s 2ji, Canada.
Account number: 321020072923
Account name: James Bill Hills
Actually, we were supposed to commence the transfer of your fund last month but have not heard from you, apparently because of the same reason. You are therefore given 48 hours to write to this office, and clarify if you have authorized or given a power of attorney to Mr. James Bill Hills to claim your Five Million Nine Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($5,900,000.00 USD).
Furthermore, we have planned to send you the fund via bank transfer. Nevertheless, we need to hear from you first to be sure of whom is to receive this fund. The alleged beneficiary (Mr. James Bill Hills), has claimed that you are dead but we still need to be sure of this so as not to be liable for any loss of the fund.
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If we did not hear from you in the next 48 hours, we shall assume that it's true and thus grant his request. We look forward to hearing from you if possible.