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:
- 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Phillip Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2014 23:46:50 -0800
Subject: Payment Notification,
From: Phillip Smith
(Director, Funds Control Unit)
RE: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION.
This is to acquaint you on the outcome of our meeting with The Homeland Department on finance concerning the current issue bordering the entire world as regards to the settlement of all outstanding payments due from Europe and Africa. Be informed that following our verification exercise as mandated, startling observations were made as indicated by abnormalities detected in initial payment processes embarked upon in the past through the various payment approaches.
However, note that your funds have been recalled and its presently secured with a Bank in the United States of America. The bank in the United States of America was chosen because of their excellent performance for a pre-test exercise conducted and concluded last November were 73 funds beneficiary owed across the globe all confirmed of receiving their funds in full just within 7 working days. This is amazing and that is why we have chosen them and we monitor all processes.
You are advised to contact me ASAP with your details were you would like to receive your funds to enable me issue you with your new payment release code and have your details forwarded for immediate payment to the Bank in the United States of America.
Note that a part-payment of USD 10.5M has been approved on your behalf for payment.
We appreciate your understanding and co-operation.
Mr. Phillip Smith
Director Funds Control.