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:
- 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:
- "bank charges " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.Collins Brent" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 09:41:09 -0800
Subject: HSBC PAYMENT FUND RELEASE APPROVAL !!!1
I am Mr. Colin Brent, the newly appointed Head of Operations, HSBC BANK,North Towers Branch, Bangkok, Thailand. I was promoted to this exalted position some Four Months ago.
Following the ongoing debt settlement program by HSBC BANK, in my position as the overall heads of operations I requested all the directors from their various departments at HSBC BANK to notify beneficiaries whose payments are
still pending to have their payment files scrutinized for immediate payment.
Your payment file number HSBC-WBDSC/0177/18, is among the files in my Office for the payment process. I have gone through your payment files to discover that you had made several attempts to claim your payment, but unfortunately there are always hitches in the process.
I also discovered that over 80% of the beneficiaries waiting for their payment are having the same problem, mostly financial backup to claim their inherited funds. To have this situation resolved, we have approved two ways
to amicably settle this debt matter.
For those who may not be able to afford the financial requirements claiming their funds, the authorities of HSBC BANK Thailand, have decided to provide them with affordable means to resolve their long overdue payment.
If you are not able to afford the cost of processing your payment, the authority of HSBC BANK, will provide you with a reasonable opportunity and privilege to resolve this long overdue payment matter.
The way out is for the authorities of HSBC BANK, to release 50% of your total payment sum to you without you paying the bank charges, then when you received your funds into your home bank account, as soon as you confirmed the first 50% of your long overdue payment.Note that ,You will be required to pay for the handling fees for the issuing and signing of the banking documene for the release of your fund and to enable you receive 50% of your money,which you will be required to pay all the bank charges to HSBC BANK,then the remaining of your money will be released pay and transfer to your
account without further delays .
With this arrangement I must let you know that you will issue the authorities of HSBC BANK, a promissory letter to promise and assure HSBC BANK that you will pay all the accrued bank charges when you must have received 50% of your entire payment sum. Be reminded that your promissory letter must be stamp at the Oath commissioner's office accordingly and you will be responsible for the little amount.
I am contacting you through my personal email address and I do not have any personal interest other than assisting you to accomplish your aims.
If this is okay with you I want you to get back to me to open official communication with you.
Head Of Operations
HSBC BANK, North Towers Branch. Bangkok, Thailand.