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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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: "Bank UK" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:29:55 -0700
Subject: HSBC Cash Delivery Notification!!
Fund Compensation Payment,
I am in reference to your outstanding Fund compensation payment sum of US$1,500,000.00 (One Million Five Hundred thousand United State Dollars) approved by HSBC Bank PLC London UK for payment to you as a compensation as one of the previous scam victims.
However, am glad to inform you that your compensation fund has been arranged and approved for payment via Diplomatic Cash Delivery to your destination through our Bank official delivery agent whom we have confirmed that has arrived in MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FLORIDA (MIA) were he has a transit for official and final delivery to your destination within 24 hours. You are to contact REV ALLEN SANCHEZ via telephone number 305-912-2310 and reconfirm your full details to him in other to facilitate your delivery.
Note that you are expected to help our delivery agent obtain the Diplomatic Immunity Clearance from the customs before he will be able to commence to your destination for final delivery to your doorstep. Keep us updated once you are in contact with the delivery agent.
Chief Executive of HSBC UK