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:
- "dear friend" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Phillip Walters" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2020 05:26:11 +0200
Subject: Re: I await your response.
How are you doing today, This will be the last time I will be contacting you as regards to the Funds Release I have been trying to reach you ever since last time I contacted you to help received the funds which you and I could not complete the process due to our inability to provide the requirement requested by the bank, Now the office of presidency has instructed the release of funds due to the on going COVID-19 pandemic lock down the funds has been release and we are to apply for payment.
Particularly, the Federal Reserve Bank in charge of payment valued at about Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$5,500,000.00). The management has issued me a notice to provide the receiving account information within the next three official working days.
Since then I have made several inquiries to claim the funds on your behalf, This has proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, all information submitted to the bank was rejected The management made me understand that on my first application submitted in the past was on your name and they cannot pay
any other accept you, That if you are handing the funds over to any other they will need official writing note or Power of Attorney from you stating that you are handing to funds over to another person.
I will like to know if you are still interested in helping me to receive the funds All I require is your honest co- operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, So that the process this amount valued at $5,500,000.00 can be paid to you, and then you and I can share the money or invest with it together. 60% to me and 40% to you.
You are advice to forward the required information below so that I can submit it to the bank to enable them start processing the transfer:
Your direct phone number:...............
Account Type Checking or Savings:.................
As soon as I receive your information I will write an application to the Bank in your favor, So that they can start processing the transfer, But if you are not interested I will please need to help me write a note or sign Power of Attorney so I can move on with another person, Thanks for your understanding.