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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Nigel Higgins" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 08:30:53 -0700
Subject: Attention: Confirmed Fund Beneficiary,
Attention: Confirmed Fund Beneficiary,
This is to bring your knowledge to the current payment update about your own Inherited payment. My name is Nigel Higgins, I am the current Group Chairman of Barclays Bank Plc. For more information about my humble self, please log into the official site: https://home.barclays/who-we-are/structure-and-leadership/leadership/nigel-higgins/
I am contacting you based on the information that is available to me about your good self and pending payment of TEN MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY, ($10,500,000.00) which according to records, has been delayed by bureaucratic bottle neck and currently floating in the bank system in your name.
As part of my commitment, strategy and organized network, designed to deliver services that would satisfy the needs, wants or aspirations of customers. I decided to withdraw and cancelled the entire bureaucratic standard operating procedure that was causing delay, so that releasing of the fund to you successfully without demand for payment after payment could be possible with less inconveniences within a shortest period.
In conclusion, full details will be communicated to you as soon as you acknowledge receiving this letter and reconfirming your personal information, including your address and phone number.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
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,