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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- "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)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mark Thomas" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2019 07:54:24 -0800
Subject: From The Desk of Dr. Mark Thomas
From The Desk of Dr. Mark Thomas
International Remittance Department, Office
ABSA Business Banking
ABSA Bank Limited,
A member of Barclay's Group
75 king Williams street, EC4N 7AB
London, United Kingdom.
Dear Fund Beneficiary;
We wish to inform you that the management has approved the settlement of your transaction through our offshore Bank in United States of America (U.S.A), final approval and a priority payment instruction has been issued to our corresponding Bank in New York, NY to transfer your funds to any of your designated Bank account through a standard wire international fund transfer (SWIFT) platform, the management has signed off the total sum of $10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) Only, on your behalf, therefore you are advised to urgently contact the SAFRA NATIONAL BANK of New York, NY as the payment directive has been issued and communicated with them in your favor.
Therefore you are advised to contact JAMES WALMER the Director of the Bank and request for their Fund Transfer Application Form as required enabling the transfer of your fund take place.
BANK NAME: SAFRA NATIONAL BANK NEW YORK, NY
DIRECTOR PHONE NO: +1-315-309-0071
CONTACT PERSON: JAMES WALMER
Mr. Mark Thomas
Manager, Foreign Operation
Barclay's Bank Ltd
Information contained in this email is confidential and intended for the addressee only. Any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of this communication without prior permission from the addressee is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient of this communication, please delete it permanently without copying, disclosing or otherwise using its contents, and notify the sender immediately.