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:
- ",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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "BANK OF AMERICA" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:39:37 -0700
Subject: Get back to me quickly.
I humbly wish to inform you that the Department of Credit & Telex control of the BANK OF AMERICA has received an instruction Order to effect the wire transferring of your approved fund of USD$17,500,000.00 MILLION to you immediately. I therefore request you to urgently re-confirm the HSBC Bank A/C. number stated below as your receiving Bank information, since this account was submitted by your lawyer Barrister Godson Gabriel of (GODSON & CO. LAW CHAMBERS) for the payment without any delay.
Note: In a case where you think you are not familiar with the bellow banking information as presented by your legal representative and agent, we advise you send to us now without any delay your detail in full containing your Banking information and other personal information so we dont transfer to wrong account.
Bank: HSBC HONGKONG BRANCH
Address: Paterson Street, HSBC Premier Centre Shops
G03-04.G/F Hang Lung Centre 2-20
Paterson Street Cause way Bay, Hong Kong
Account number: 627 826464-001
Account name: Bob Andria
SWIFT code: HSBCKHKHH
IF YOURE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS BANKING INFORMATION WE ADVISE YOU TO RE-CONFIRM TO ME THE FOLLOWINGS BELLOW INFORMATION.
Account Holders Name:
Bank Swift Code
Scan Copy of passport or Drivers License.
However, it is our principle to initiate direct contact with the beneficiary of fund before final crediting of such fund. Therefore, I am personally contacting you directly in order to seek your approval to remit into the above account. In the meantime, the process of programming and registering of your transfer payment status code that will enable a hitch free wire transferring of your fund into your account within 72hours is in progress and I will be willing to assist you believing that you will in turn show some appreciation to me. Note, I can successfully achieve this transfer within the shortest time from now if only you can offer.
Get back to me quickly.
ACCOUNTANT, BANK OF AMERICA