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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Shaolin Yang" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2022 10:23:16 -0700
Subject: Your Swift Response Is Highly Needed
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the Columbia County School District. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.
World Bank Group USA
Address: 1818 H Street NW,
Washington, DC 20433, United States
TRANSFER UPDATE OF YOUR FUND
We are contacting you through this email for swift communication as required by this single customer transaction. This official letter is to inform you that Ms. Jo Ann Erickson from Wisconsin, filed an application contrary to the claim of your approved compensation fund on your behalf. The above-mentioned person visited this bank with a power of attorney given in her favor by you, granting her the benefit to process and claim your compensation fund worth $10,700,000.00 (Ten Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for reasons we do not know. She further stated that the fund should be transferred into her personal bank account details below;
Bank Name: American Express National Bank
Bank Address: 115 W Towne Ridge Pkwy Null Sandy, UT 84070
Bank Account Number: 6210123286840
Bank Routing Number 124071889
Bank Swift Code: AEIBPKK1
Bank Account Name: Jo Ann Erickson.
Please note that we have asked her to return back within 72hours, to enable us to have a personal confirmation notice from you being the legal/bona fide beneficiary of the said fund before we can release the fund to her as instructed on the power of attorney she submitted. Hence, you are required to answer the below question before we can proceed with the fund release/transfer to her.
(1). Did you instruct Jo Ann Erickson to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
(2). Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment' in her favor thereby making her the current beneficiary?
We are sorry to have delayed your instruction in giving out this fund since we must adhere to the procedures of this honorable bank by making sure this request is verified and confirmed by the beneficiary and his existing attorney. Your immediate confirmation to the above will be appreciated. We hereby anticipate your swift response.
Mr. Shaolin Yang
Managing Director In-Charge/Chief Administrative Officer
©2022 World Bank Group