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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MR BELLO MOHAMMED <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2021 13:23:31 +0100
Subject: GET BACK TO ME ASAP.
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE /
YOUR INHERITANCE FUNDS $10.5MILLION DOLLARS.
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR OVER DUE INHERITANCE FUNDS HAS BEEN
GAZETTED TO BE RELEASED, VIA TELEX TRANSFER (TT)DIRECT WIRE TRANSFER TO YOU
BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE FUND TRANSFER.MEANWHILE,A
WOMAN CAME TO MY OFFICE FEW DAYS AGO WITH A LETTER,CLAIMING TO BE YOUR TRUE
REPRESENTATIVE.HERE ARE HER INFORMATION:
NAME JANET WHITE
BANK NAME: CITI BANK
BANK ADDRESS:ARIZONA, USA.
ACCOUNT Number: 6503809428.
PLEASE, DO RECONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE, AS A MATTER OF URGENCY IF THIS WOMAN
IS FROM YOU SO THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR
PAYING INTO THE WRONG ACCOUNT NAME AND FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR
CONTRACT, INHERITANCE/AWARD WINNING CLAIM IS INFORMED THAT YOU ARE NOT
ALLOWED TO CORRESPOND WITH ANY PERSON OR OFFICE ANYMORE, YOU ARE REQUIRED
TO SEND BELLOW:INFORMATION REQUEST FOR YOUR TRANSFER.
(1) YOUR FULL NAME:
(2) FULL ADDRESS OF YOUR CITY, STATE AND COUNTRY:
(3) PHONE, FAX AND MOBILE:
(4) COMPANY NAME, POSITION AND ADDRESS:
(5) BANK INFORMATION:
(A) BANK NAME:
(B) BANK ADDRESS:
(C) ACCOUNT NUMBER:
(D) SWIFT CODE/
(E) ROUTING NUMBER:
(F) IBAN NUMBER
(6) PROFESSION, AGE AND MARITAL STATUS:
(7) A COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE.
THE RESERVE BANK GOVERNOR, EXECUTIVE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE SENATE
COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE INHERITANCE FUND HAVE APPROVED AND
ACCREDITED THIS REPUTABLE BANK WITH THE OFFICE OF THE
DIRECTOR,INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE /FOREIGN OPERATIONS,TO HANDLE AND
TRANSFER ALL FOREIGN INHERITANCE FUNDS THIS THIRD QUARTER PAYMENT OF THE
YEAR.HOWEVER,WE SHALL PROCEED TO ISSUE ALL PAYMENTS DETAILS TO THE SAID
MRS.WHITE,IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU WHITEN THE NEXT SEVEN WORKING DAYS
MR BELLO MOHAMMED.
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE /
CC: ALL FOREIGN INHERITANCE FUNDS