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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "DAVID" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:37:30 +0100
Subject: U.S.A GOVERNMENT,WORLD BANK,UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION OFFICIAL APPROVAL PAYMENT VALUED $15.5M 1
This is to inform you that you funds $15.5 Million USA Dollars due has
been uploaded into CORPORATE ATM Card Payment OR International
Certified Bank Draft or deliver by consignment in cash The United
Nation Organization Fund Office in collaboration with British /U.S.A
Government and World Bank, do hereby give this irreversible
endorsement order with Release Bank, Skye bank Plc NIGERIA
Organization has screened through our various Monitoring Networks and
has been confirmed and notified that the transaction you have with the
Skye bank is Legal and you have the Lawful Right to claim your due
fund $15.5 Million Basically, there are two (4) options.The Skye bank
Plc Organization Seattle Division in conjunction with the Federal
Reserves bank want you to get your fund thought these options
1.International Certified Bank Draft
2.ATM Card Payment.
3.Bank to bank transfer
4.Deliver by consignment in cash
You are to make your preferred and affordable choice from the two options below:
Option (1) International Certified Bank Draft: You will have to
receive an International Certified Bank Draft which you will deposit
into your account for clearance that will take two days to be into
Option (2) Client Atm Card Payment:You will have to receive an ATM
Card and this will take one (1)business days to deliver to your
doorstep. We will have to use our courier company to deliver the
parcel to your location.
Please respond to this email by making a selection from the (4) options above.
Note: Your personal Contact/Communication Code with Skye bank is
(678/UNGAAP); you are advice to send you full information to the Skye
bank plc International Remittance Director with your new payment code
or release of your fund..
David Smith (Mr.) Manager
Head,Business Banking, Skye Bank Plc