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:
- "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. )
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "immigration services" (For real work or immigration visas you will always be dealing with the foreign embassy, high commission or consulate in your country, not directly with the authorities in the country you are trying to move to. If you are being asked to send money to someone outside of your country, then it's a scam. Real visas fees are always payable to the foreign embassy or consulate in your country. Embassies or immigration officials will never use a free webmail address or demand payment by Western Union or to a bank account that is not in the name of the embassy. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Patrick Eddie" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2019 14:23:13 +0200
Subject: Dear Beneficiary....6
I have important information for you here.
Please accept my sincere apologizes if my email disturbs your business or personal ethics.
I will first introduce myself to you:
My name is Mr. Patrick Eddie, A staff in the Card Accounts Management Section of a very well-known bank, here at London United Kingdom.
One of our bank accounts here has being with holding a current balance of (Nine Million Three Hundred and Forty Six Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty two Great British Pounds Sterling and Point Seven Pence Only) and the Card account has been DRAFTED AS DORMANT. It was last operated For (11yrs) ago.
>From my private investigations and confirmation, the owner of this said bank account, a Foreigner by name, Mr. Jonce Ludwig died on the 4th of January 2007 in a boat accident mishap that occurred here at Birmingham, UK.
Since then, nobody has done anything as regards claiming of this money, as he has no traces of family member who has any knowledge as to the existence of this bank account or the funds here; and also Information from our National Immigration Services here, stated that he was ONLY on a single entry into the UK, and had proposed to establish a Real Estate Firm here at United Kingdom, hence the deposit of this very fund here at our bank.
I have confidently discussed this issue with some of our bank officials, although, some showed interest, and some refused, but on the contrary, we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with this situation. We therefore propose to do this business with you, and we wish that you stand in as the Next of Kin to attest to this fund, so that we can have the fund and Bank Account details released to you after due processes have been followed.
I am assuring you that this transaction is totally free of risks as all the legal documents are readily available and valid to be signed and stamped in your name and it will be done without any problem as the fund is 100% legitimate and does not originate from drug money laundering, or terrorism fund or any other illegal act.
As soon as the deal is done successfully, you will take 50% while 50% come to me.
On your interest, let us hear from you by responding to this email via my private email here:
Thanking you for accepting to do this with us.
Mr. Patrick Eddie.