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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Nigel Higgins" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2020 00:12:05 +0100
Subject: Re Transfer Of $ 10,500,000.00 Only. (followup).
Attention: Fund Beneficiary As Legally Identified,
My name is Nigel Higgins, the current Group Chairman of Barclays Bank Plc, London-UK. Inline with my previous message to you, related to my own strategy to ensure that your funds gets to you without impediments. I hereby inform you as follows.
Due to the strict insurance policy attached to your payment particularly in favor of your name, deducting the necessary official charges before your payment can finally be released to you will not be possible and asking you to pay out of pocket when we are in custody of such amount of your money, could be termed as ridiculous.
As part of my own strategy and organized network, designed to deliver services that would satisfy the needs, wants or aspirations of customers. I have decided to advise you to consult one of our attorney TURNER NICHOLSON LLP via this e-mail address: email@example.com so that he could write an application on your behalf for deduction of all the charges from your fund and obtain appropriate Court approval, so that we can by law deduct all charges needed to get your balance to you and implement it immediately.
I am sure, this will less your inconveniences and get your funds to you within a shortest period. Attached is copy of my work ID you requested.
Looking forward to your cooperation,
Nigel Higgins, (Group Chairman),
Barclays Bank Plc,
Registered number: 1026167,
1 Churchill Place, London, ENG E14 5HP,
SWIFT Code: BARCGB21,
Direct Telephone: +44 770 000 8965