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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "inland revenue" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- "loan amount" (Beware of fake loan offers. Real lenders would not normally use free webmail addresses such as Yahoo, nor would they lend to individuals or small businesses in a different country from where they are based. Beware of mobile phones or redirector numbers!)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Hsbc Bank London" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 May 2021 07:41:03 -0700
Subject: Your Approved Fund
THE WORLDS LOCAL BANK
FOREIGN EXCHANGE UNIT
RE: MANDATORY RELEASE ORDER OF YOUR OVERDUE FUND
Dear Valued Beneficiary:
We are pleased to inform you that we have finally concluded arrangement towards your refund/lottery pay out which has been delayed for a Long Period of time because of your Cooperation and Dealings with Wrong Officials and importers of banks as your fund returned back to us on the 4th of Jan 2021 when we confirmed the rate of delays and questionable activities that has been related by the previous administrative banks alongside with others that collaborated in delaying the release of your fund after all charges and payments demanded were paid.
Recently, the Ministry of Finance of United Kingdom, Bank of England, HSBC Bank Plc UK and United Kingdom Inland Revenue Services held a meeting on how this fund will be released to the beneficiaries to their designated bank accounts in their country without further delay since we are in the first half of the economic year 2021 and it is now overdue to be released as the said funds belongs to them.
We apologize for the delay of the payment and all the inconveniences that this might have caused you during this period of time. However we have instructed all the banks in the globe which we previously asked to help us pay out this fund to the general public to STOP the process of the release of the fund due to their incompetence and negligence of duty towards the release of this fund. After our findings, some were arrested and charged for theft according to Section 1 of the Theft Act 1978, as amended by the Theft (Amendment) Act 1996 law of the United Kingdom.
The Bank of England Governor (Mr Andrew Bailey) has given serious warning and Instructions and ordered the Inland Revenue Services Department of England to quickly release all on hold funds which are in their escrow account to the sole beneficiaries which you are among those who will receive their Inheritance funds.
Please contact ONLY the Executive member of the Monetary Policy Committee of South African Reserve Bank (Dr Rashad Cassim) on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org to advise you on how to procure the certificate of claim as the law of South Africa demands that without it there will not be any payment whether pending loan amount, lottery fund, inheritance funds or whatsoever fund locally or internationally perhaps you have not yet received it.
Provide below details to Dr Rashad Cassim for his clarification:
Full Name....... Tel.................
Copies of documents pertaining to the fund.
Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank plc.