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:
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2021 10:58:48 +0000
United Trust Bank Limited
One Ropemaker Street
London EC2Y 9AW.
Re: Ref.: UTDBGB2L22-143902883/21| Amt: (US$8,500,000.00)
Following review of your long with-held payment related documents in line with the World Bank, Bank of England and assessment report from the International Remittance Division, your payment file was forwarded to us for immediate transfer of payment of the above mentioned amount to your designated bank account from their Escrow account with us.
Findings revealed that irregular activities of some insincere officials has delayed your fund transfer. We therefore advice that you stop further communication with anyone outside this office as we have been authorized to carry out your payments.
Should you follow our directives, your funds will be credited and confirmed in your account within five to seven (5-7) bank working days.
Kindly re-confirm your details by filling/completing the attached form and send back to us along with your IDENTIFICATION(international passport or driving license) for us start processing your fund transfer.
Please return the completed Form and your ID copy through our email.
Shelby Richmond (Mrs)
Foreign Banking Division