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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Alice Hughes" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 10:36:52 -0800
Subject: Grant Award Transfer of US$2,950,000 to your account
We wish to congratulate and inform you that after thorough review of all unclaimed funds, lottery funds, Inheritance and contract funds, etc.,, in conjunction with the auditor reports to UN accounts, your payment file was forwarded to our office for the immediate transfer of US$2,950,000.00 to your bank account, a compensation for your funds retarded.
The auditors report shows that you have been going through hard times by paying a lot of money to certain groups of individuals for the transfer of funds to your bank account, all which has been delayed by some dubious officials.
We therefore advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence outside this office since you do not have to pay any money or fee to receive your funds since you have met up with the whole funds transfer requirements.
Should you follow our directives, your US$2,950,000.00 compensation will be credited to your bank account within the next three (3) working days and transfer copies forwarded to you and your bankers for confirmation.
For the immediate transfer of the US$2,950,000.00 to your bank account, kindly contact Mrs. Patricia Robert today with the below information.
Contact Name: Mrs. Patricia Robert
PLEASE NOTE: All correspondences to Mrs. Patricia Robert should have the reference number: SFSA/UP2950/8PUK sent along with your Full Names and Telephone numbers for prompt attention.
financial services, UK