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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "payment alert note" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2017 18:51:33 +0100
Subject: Read & Reply Asap
Dear Fund Beneficiary!!!,
This is to inform you that in the course of my investigation as director of payment verification / implementation committee I came across your name as unpaid fund beneficiary in the record of the central bank. My committee was set up by the attorney general to verify and scrutinize all outstanding debts owed to our foreign beneficiaries in accordance to the information received from the United States government And European ,Asia Empowered By United Nations over unpaid huge debts owed to United States citizens and European,Asia Citizens as well and Others Countries .
Having seen your file and my further questioning to the officials of the central bank and ministry of finance as to why your payment $81 million dollars is still pending reveals the rot and corruption in the system. The bank officials told me that the reason why you haven't received payment is due to your inability to pay for the required charges for transfer of funds to your account. When I asked them why they didn't deduct the said charges from your principal sum, I was given the flimsy excuse that you never authorized them to do so. When I put the question across to them if they ever advised you that such charges could be deducted from your principal fund,the answer I got was no. Now, if you do not tell this beneficiary that such charges could be deducted from his or her principal fund, how will he or she know that such options are available for such beneficiaries.
From my investigation I discovered that these bank officials deliberately refused to let the charges be deducted from your principal fund because they want your fund to remain trapped in the bank, while they continue to extort money from beneficiaries under some flimsy excuse. You do not need to pay any money to any official, all you are required to do is swear to an affidavit at the high court, authorizing the bank to deduct all charges from your principal fund and transfer the balance of funds after deduction to your bank account. If you have spent any money in the past in your quest for payment, kindly let me know so that I can follow this up.Forward you identity card,telephone and home or office address as soon as possible and get payment process directive.
Inspector General of Anti-Fraud International.
Reply also on this email: firstname.lastname@example.org for privacy.