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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- 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:
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 04:27:51 +0100
Subject: YOUR RESPONDS NEEDED TODAY FROM FinCen Financial Monitoring Chief USA.?
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
FINCEN Financial CRIMES ENFORCEMENT NETWORK
1500 PENNSYVANIA AVENUE,NM
ATTN:RIGHTFULL BENEFICIARY/FUND OWNER
I am compel to write you this day to inform you that our financial crimes monitoring unit discovered a huge sum of money to a tune of US$10 .5M in your email address and your name with a security firm, we have monitored the fund very closely and discovered that the discrepancies relating to the release of the fund to you has not been resolved
However, our further investigation reveals that the above fund that belong to you was deposited in a bank to generate an INTEREST which they wanted to divert, we contacted the bank where the fund was deposited not to release the accrued INTEREST to the depositors and the resolution was agreed between our office and the bank
In view of the above matter, at the date of maturity we move in and move the accrued INTEREST from your above fund to a bank in California (The Provident Bank) and we will ordered the bank to release the INTEREST FUND (US$2.3M) to your in any nominated bank details you will submit to them that will enhance them to transfer the fund to you without any delay. We will be mandating the bank to contact you or you will contact them for this INTEREST FUND and we want you to do whatever you can and ensure that the fund is release to you without any delay.
We embarked on this, knowing fully well that the depositors will come back for the INTEREST FUND and if you make any further delay this fund might not be release to you, we urge and advice that you hasten up and ensure that the fund is release to you.
You are advice to re-confirm your full details: your name, your address, your direct telephone number and a copy of your ID
We remain committed to serve you better
MR .Bruce Johnson
FinCen Financial Monitoring Chief