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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Professor Williams Oscar" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2018 08:46:30 +0500
Subject: Attn: Esteemed Beneficiary,
HERITAGE BANK Bank Wire Transfer
Place du Petit Marche
Quartier Assivito, Rue Koumore.
01 B.P 3256 Lome Togo
WEB SITE. https://www.the-heritage-bank.com
Attn: Esteemed Beneficiary,
We contacted you some time ago after the discovery and report contained in this email regarding scams you have been into or still going through from impostors in West Africa that sends out thousands of scam emails daily looking for foreigners to rip off, imposing offices and personals here but you did not reply or the email was not delivered. The BRITISH High Commission in Tog, Nigeria, Cotonou Benin Republic and Ghana received a report of scam against you, and other British/USA citizens and Malaysia, Russia Etc, whom the country of Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana have compensated you due to meeting held with four countries. Government and the world high commissions is against fraud activities by the four country Citizens.
Your name was among those that were scammed as listed by the West Africa Financial Intelligent Unit (WAFIU). Compensation has been issued out in Certified Bank Visa ATM card. worth $800,000.00 USD to all the affected victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers. Your Bank ATM Visa Card was among those that were reported undelivered as at last Eight Months ago, and we wish to advise you to stick to the instructions of the Committee to make sure you receive your fund, immediately for your dispatch.
This is officially to notify you that We have received a payment credit instruction from the World Bank Swiss to credit your account with your full unpaid contract, inheritance compensation , and lotto winning fund of (US$800.000.00 ) We the HERITAGE BANK LOME TOGO, has taken up the mantle to advocate on your interest for the release of your fund over delayed payment. I hereby acquaint you with the procedure for the release and transfer this approved payment fund to you. You are required to furnish to us the under mentioned bank account information requisites to enable this bank commence actions.
Send your bank account details, stated below, to this Email.( email@example.com )
Your Bank Name----------------------------------
Your Bank Address------------------------------
Your Bank Account Number-------------------
Copy of your passport, or identity card........
Be informed that transfer will commence immediately we hear from you with the Needed bank information. Once more, Heritage Bank PLC, will not hesitate to credit your account within 24hours in accordance with Fund release order regulations.
Finally, I want you to know that all modalities has been put in place for the successful transfer of your contract/inheritance and lotto winning fund of US$800.000.00 into your bank account, The transfer of your fund is 100% Genuine and risk free, as all international rules and regulations concerning Fund Transfer has been adhere to for safe transfer of your fund into your Nominated bank account.
This is a golden opportunity for you now to receive your fund. Thanks for your anticipated co-operation. Have a nice day.
Your Immediate Response is highly needed to enable us commence for the transfer.
Professor Williams Oscar.
REMITTANCE DIRECTOR HERITAGE BANK LOME TOGO