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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "a security company " (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. )
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Security Company" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 15:21:16 -0500
Subject: Hello my dear
Hello my dear,
In accordance to my religious persuasion, I felt expedient to write and inform you on the wicked conspiracy hatched by the duo of (Mr.Anthony and Mr. Hassan ) from Ministry of Finance to divert your funds to their designated account in Cayman Island but unfortunately, they begin to find it difficult to divert the funds due to their inability to provide an adequate identity of the fund, they now moved the fund down to Africa and hide it in a security company in other to buy time to enable them embezzle the fund at their own convenient time, but God stopped them.
From my position as a lowly clerk in this office, Miami Finance Department (444 SW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33130, USA), I discovered that the duo criminals moved the fund from United States to China, and then moved it again to Banco Italiano in ITALY. Yesterday, I found out through the Central computer database that they are about to reroute the funds to a security company in Republique Du Benin where they will be able to maneuver the strict IMF money laundering regulatory orders. With this, I felt that it is important for me to alert you on this development. They are still using your name and contract/inheritance identification number as the beneficiary but they have changed the account co-ordinate and this is the reason why they are frustrating you by delaying the transfer of your funds to you, so in order to buy time pending on when they will transfer your funds to their designated account.
I have the reference number of the transaction and also I have the number of the official who is directly in charge at the SECURITY COMPANY. Your payment is supposed to go through the Euro-Asia Credit Control Financial Clearing Department before final Lodgement into the security company. All the data/information about your funds file are within my reach. I do not need gratification from you either in cash or kind. I can never be a part of evil because the bible said YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.
Please respect my discretion in this matter! I will send you the reference number, the name and contact information of the officials of the security company where they kept your fund in Republique Du Benin when I receive your response. I repeat, please do not expose my person, it is not easy to get employment around here and I cannot contend with these powerful individuals because they can eliminate me.
You are advice to reply me immediately at (firstname.lastname@example.org) as I access this e-mail more often.
God bless you,
Mrs. Stella Kauffman