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:
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "European Central Bank" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 01:25:12 +0100
Subject: RE: Final Credit of US$10.5M to Your Account Within 48hrs
European Central Bank Spain
Euro-building 2, 28850 Terrejon de Ardoz
RE: Final Credit of US$10.5M to Your Account Within 48hrs
We write to notify you that we have received a pre-advice instruction from World Bank to credit your nominated account with US$10.5M and debit their coded a/c with our branch within 48hrs as your part payment over due inheritance payment. This instruction was received last Friday from world bank headquarters
Be informed that we will release the transfer upon the reconfirmation of your bank details,
1. Your bank name and address
2. Your bank account number and account name
3. Bank Swift Code and Iban number
4. Your telephone number and current address
Our telex department will transfer the funds to your account and send to you the telex confirmation slip for further confirmation with your bank upon your response.
Mr José María Aknar
International Remittance Department
European Central Bank
Tel: +34`911 234787
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