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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Samson Potter" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2018 22:02:04 -0600
Subject: Is Mr. Julius Fletcher your representative?
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
May I bring to your notice that we have received your contract payment which was transferred from the United Nations (UN).
The total amount confirmed is $10,000,000.00 USD.
However, we have received a notice of Change of Account from your representative Mr. Julius Fletcher yesterday. In respect to account received from him, we wish to confirm with you before we proceed with the transfer of your contract fund to the new account he provided.
Please I will like you to urgently confirm the below new bank account as valid and endorsed by you for the transfer of your contract fund.
Finter Bank Zurich
Claridenstrasse 35 8002 Zurich, Switzerland
Swift Code: UBSWCHZH80A
A/C Number: 0230009416905
Iban No: 700230230094
Beneficiary: Julius Fletcher
The transfer will take place immediately you confirm the authenticity of the new bank account information.
We await your urgent reply to enable us proceed with the transfer.
Mr. Samson Potter
Federal Reserve Bank (FRB)