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:
- "application fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Andrew Hauser" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 May 2018 08:54:53 +0800
Subject: Re: Dear Fund Beneficiary
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
How long would you delay this transaction Or do you think that this your money can be paid to you through any other Bank, source or means Or that all my notifications are not reaching you or that you have declined completely Please I need a word from you urgently.
Let me inform you, maybe you do not know that our bank has total control over your payment and I am in charge as the current Executive Director Banking, Payments and Financial Resilience of the Bank. After the trade bilateral agreements with your country and the United Kingdom, it was resolved that every transaction cost should be deducted from investment fund but that the Ambassador of your Country in the United Kingdom must issue a consent to that effect and this is what we are following right now.
Following this development, I hereby state that every cost and or documentary requirement to transfer your funds to you will be deducted from your investment fund prior to final deposit of the balance to your designated bank account. Therefore, I would like to point it out to you that the process to obtain the consent of the Ambassador of your Country represented here in the United Kingdom must be followed and complied with, as it is the only thing we need base on the new trade bilateral agreements to access and retrieve your fund and deposit it to your designated bank account through our nominated bank after reconciling the cost with the investment fund.
We are optimistic that the Ambassador of your country represented here in the United Kingdom will issue his consent to this effect without delay as soon as we apply on your behalf with the official application fee base on the bilateral agreements. So all you need to do now is to provide us with the application fee only.
Finally, I, Mr. Andrew Hauser, Executive Director Banking, Payments and Financial Resilience of the Bank, unambiguously affirming that all costs and documentation requirements for the transfer of your fund to your designated bank account through our nominated bank will be deducted from your fund before the balance is credited into your designated bank account after the consent of your country's representative in the United Kingdom.
However, silence or disagreement of this Governments recent resolution would indicate that there is no seriousness on the part of the beneficiary or that the claimant is false but on the basis of our verification that you are a genuine beneficiary, we are given you this last chance with the hope that you need your funds, and that we can complete your transaction this time once and for all.
I hope this is explanatory to your understanding and please do not hesitate to ask questions in any area you do not understand correctly. You can equally contact me on this number for more delails +442033181640.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Andrew Hauser(Executive Director)
Banking, Payments/Financial Resilience.
Bank of England, Threadneedle St,
London, EC2R 8AH.