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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark Thomas" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 20:45:00 +0100
Subject: From The Desk of Dr. Mark Thomas
From The Desk of Dr. Mark Thomas
International Remittance Department, Office
ABSA Business Banking
ABSA Bank Limited,
A member of Barclay's Group
75 king Williams street, EC4N 7AB
London, United Kingdom.
Dear Fund Beneficiary;
We wish to inform you that our management has approved the settlement of your transaction through our offshore Bank in United States of America (U.S.A), final approval and a priority payment instruction has been issued to our corresponding Bank, the City Gate Bank NY to transfer your funds to any of your designated Bank account through their Online Transfer Platform, the management has signed off the total sum of $10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) Only, on your behalf, therefore you are advised to urgently contact the City Gate Bank as payment directive has been issued and communicated with them in your favor.
City Gate Bank of New York
Bank Name: CITY GATE BANK
Location: New York, NY 10011. USA
Executive Remittance Officer in Charge:Mr. Charles Owen
We have forwarded your payment file to City Gate Bank of New York and informed the Manager about the arrangement so get in touch with him to assist you in getting the transfer done this week and with his directives, the Transfer will be confirmed in your nominated account within 24 hours.
Be advised to STOP all further communications with all and keep this communication confidential to avoid interception of online information that might lead to false claim or loss of any part of your Fund.
We sincerely apologize for any difficulties caused. Keep me updated if you find it helpful.
Dr. Mark Thomas
Manager, Foreign Operation
Barclay's Bank Ltd
Information contained in this email is confidential and intended for the addressee only. Any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of this communication without prior permission from the addressee is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient of this communication, please delete it permanently without copying, disclosing or otherwise using its contents, and notify the sender immediately.