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:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- 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: "PRA" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 04:35:42 +0200
Subject: RE: ++PAYMENT NOTIFICATION/FINAL ORDER
OFFICE OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
AND FINANCIAL MATTERS
RE: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION / FINAL ORDER.
This is to draw your attention of your unclaimed contract payment with the
Federal Government and authorization has been passed to effect the payment on behalf of the
Government, the only problem now is that we have noticed lot of irregularities attached to your contract
(1) Did you at any time delegate any person to claim your contract payment
on your behalf?
(2) Were you involved in a motor accident?
(3) Are you aware or related to one Mr. Thomas Mick from your country?
Please reconfirm and answer the above questions. An individual called Mr.
Thomas Mick came to our foreign contract payment department and submitted an application that
you have authorized the release of your contract payment of US$52.7M to be paid into a bank
account with the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). Account number UBS- 943BDG99. With the
report that you are now paralyzed as a result of the ghastly motor accident occurred last
Following the official protocols, you are to forward to us a copy of your
Power of Attorney authorizing Mr. Thomas Mick to effect the contract payment on your behalf as requested.
Thanks for your co-operation
Mr. Fred Wilson
Secretary to the Minister of Financ
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