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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: mary williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: mary williams <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:18:55 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Ms.Mary Williams/Mr.Edward Cliff.
This is to inform you that after board meeting with IMF Director Ms.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) and FBI including United State Government we have
concluding to transfer your (US$9.7M) to you immediately you provide
this details listed below.
Your file appears in my desk two days ago Through IMF office that you
are among people approved to be paid half of their part payment of
Nine million, seven Hundred Dollars ($9.7Million USD). Signed by World
Bank Nigeria, On behalf of IMF.
1) Your full name........
2) Contact Address .......
3) Phone, fax and mobile .........
6) Your bank details
Bank details :.........
Bank name ........
The Research office and payment list from Europe Countries, I received
with regular post mail.These are the last e-mails, contact the paying
I finished work from home with e-mails from 2008-2014. years.I have
regular post mail from the experts of science and numerology with
sample of the Squelches.
I have bank application with details :
In receipt of the above information and your payment will be approved
and paid to you by bank to bank wire transfer to your nominated bank
account. You are advised to get back to me immediately for more
information listed above.
Ms.Mary Williams/Mr.Edward Cliff.
Director in charge
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