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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Carla Grasso" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2018 22:46:39 +0100
Subject: Our Ref: SFSA/EU8/PY10
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
London E14 5HS UK
Our Ref: SFSA/EU8/PY10
Good News: US$10,500,000.00 compensation payment
Are you the owner of this email address?
We are not sure you received our previous message but we wish to congratulate and inform you that after thorough review of all delayed and all unclaimed funds, lottery funds, Inheritance and contract funds, etc., your payment file was forwarded to our office for the immediate payment of US$10,500,000.00 compensation to you, with Ref No: SFSA/EU8/PY10.
The auditors report shows that you have been going through hard times by paying a lot of money to certain groups of individuals for the transfer of funds to your bank account, all which has been delayed by some dubious officials.
We therefore advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence outside this office since you do not have to pay any money or fee to receive your funds since you have met up with the whole funds transfer requirements.
Should you follow our directives; the US$10,500,000.00 will be credited to your bank account within the next three (3) working days and transfer copies forwarded to you and your bankers for confirmation.
For the immediate transfer of the US$10,500,000.00 to your bank account, kindly send your TELEPHONE number by email directly to our foreign payment officer below:
Mr Walter Hama Fraud and Payments Agent
ATOM BANK PLC
AKLEY HEADS DURHAM DH1 5TS LONDON
My Direct Private Phone+44- 745-205-7102 (Inside-outside of The UK.)
PLEASE NOTE: All further correspondence should directly be to Mr Walter Hama Fraud and Payments Agent and should have the reference number: SFSA/EU8/PY10, sent along with your Full Names and Telephone numbers for prompt attention.
Mrs Carla Grasso
Financial Services, UK