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:
- 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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. Bannister Carlos" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2022 21:07:19 +0100
Subject: I am waiting for your reply,
From Rev Bannister Carlos.
Western Associate Bank.
Boulevard General Jacques 2673 G,
1050 Brussels, Belgium.
My name is Rev Bannister Carlos, I am from the Republic of Mauritius.
I live and work in the UK. I work with Western Associates Bank at
their offshore department in London UK. I will be pleased to work this
deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and
if you are capable of keeping this a TOP SECRET and handle a huge
amount of funds with legal back up documents.
During one of our periodic audits last month I discovered dormant
accounts with holding balances of Fifteen Million Dollars, Sometimes a
person will open a bank account, deposit money, and then disappear
into the tin air. Banks are not always able to find out what has
become of these silent customers, or to know whether they should
follow up on requests from people who claim to be heirs to the
accounts. The main problem is that the customer resides abroad and,
due to bank secrecy, the bank cannot publish notices in the
international press to locate the depositories. This has led the
majority of Swiss banks to refrain from opening small-deposit accounts
for foreign customers.
The Reason I am contacting you today is because one of the dormant
accounts with ($15,000.000.00) Fifteen Million Dollars US Dollars has
the same last name as yours, and this will make it very easy for
documentation and approval, do not be worried as I will be in control
of the whole document that will backup the immediate transfer of funds
to any of your nominated bank account.
It has happened in the past, however, that customers pass away and
their heirs can neither prove the death, nor their heir ship. This was
a frequent occurrence during the wartime periods, and the banks have
now set up a simple, rapid resolution procedure operating to their
customers' advantage. Dormant assets are defined as any assets
deposited with a bank (i.e. an account, a custody account or a
safety-deposit box) for which there has been no contact with the
customer in the bank's files for the last ten years or more. If you
believe you have claim to a Swiss bank account for which the holder
(e.g. an ancestor) has not been in contact with the bank for over ten
years, there is a fairly simple procedure to follow, depending on the
date the account was opened this account has not been operated for the
past years. As at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details
about this business until your response is received.
If you know that you are capable of handling large or small amounts on
trust and can keep it secret and ready to take 40% of the total fund
transfer into your account from the dormant accounts and I will take
60% and if this business proposal is acceptable to you, then send your
account information by return mail. Tell me more about yourself, while
I look forward to receiving the above information.
Please you are advised to write me through my private email address below
( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
I want to reassure you that this business is risk free and you can
send an empty account to receive the funds, provided that the account
is capable of receiving incoming funds.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Rev Bannister Carlos.