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:
- ",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: "Daniel Wright" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:59:25 +0100
I am happy to inform you that your funds the sum of US$5,500,000.00. was moved out of London, to the bank of America International Clearing House New Yorkhave sent you several emails notifications which returned back as failure delivery.
In other not to waste further time I advise you to contact the bank of America International Clearing House New York with the details below:
Bank of America International Clearing House (BOAICH)
Accounts officer's Name: Mr. Stanley Hamilton
Note you are advised to quote the amount in the specimen US,$5,500,000.00 and your reference number is: ZX-ICH/2019.
Note also to quote your code when contacting (BOAICH) -ZX-ICH/2019 so that they would crosscheck and give you audience.
I advise that you should email them and also give them a call when you must have finished
sending them an email for clarifications.
I am really hoping that this message will not bounce back as it has been the case and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as you finish reading this mail.
I await to hear from you as soon as you finish reading this mail.
Mr. Daniel Wright