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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Gwendolyn Gillespie" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2020 09:10:55 -0800
We apologize for the delay of your payment and all the inconveniences that we might have inflicted you through. However, we wish to re-affirm the below irregularities from you before proceeding on effecting the transfer of your payment to the new account. Once again, did you by any means authorized one Mrs Elijah Rosa Laurich, a Lawyer by profession/ Managing Director, (G & T Enterprises, LLC) 818 Bare Branch Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123, USA for a change of Bank account for onward transfer of your funds on your behalf?
PLEASE CONFIRM URGENTLY,FOR IMMEDIATE TRANSFER INTO THIS ACCOUNT TO AVOID FURTHER STATUTORY ANOMALIES.THE ACCOUNT OWNER (ELIJAH ROSA LAURICH) CLAIMED TO BE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND SENT THE BELOW ACCOUNT STATEMENT ON YOUR BEHALF THAT YOU ARE IN A SICK BED, HENCE AUTHORIZED US TO TRANSFER OVER-DUE OUTSTANDING PAYMENT TO THIS NOMINATED BANK OF AMERICA ACCOUNT AS STATED BELOW:
BANK OF AMERICA
Las Vegas, NV Branch
Account Beneficiary: ELIJAH ROSA LAURICH
SWIFT Code: BOFAUS3N
Account No: 000232776421
If yes, you will need to provide us with the POWER OF ATTORNEY to this effect formally authorizing someone to change your account details for the transfer and also note that your inability to reconfirm to us and report immediately upon the receipt of this letter would be recall that you actually empowered her to claim your funds and we will not hesitate to effect transfer of the payment to the above Bank account within some days from now as we will not be held for any short coming there after.
So you are hereby advice to act accordingly in reporting to this office for immediate verification and confirmation before our proceedings. We look forward to your urgent confirmation.
Mrs. Frieda Gillespie
INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT.