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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Robert R. Jones"
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2015 12:55:19 +0100
Subject: TOP URGENT
American Bankers Association
1120 Connecticut Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20036, United States
In agreement with the rules and ethics of this association I write you this day in respect of your unpaid fund, we exposed discrepancies restricting the release of your fund from various banks making you spent your hard earn money without success.
We revealed that some insatiable bank staffs from various bank had concluded plans to divert your fund to their personal account thereby making you spend your money without receiving any cent. We have directed the entire bank in question to submit the list of unpaid beneficiaries for roper verification.
Having concluded the verification in our office after going through report and files received, we therefore inform you today that your unpaid fund of US$12.8M will be authenticated and release to you without any further delay, we contact you today to let us know if you are still interest to receive this fund and that you must take care of the Authentication fee.
The above fund will be release to you through wire transfer to your nominated bank details and we hereby direct you to stop further communication to any bank or persons until your fund is in your account, that this association will not be held liable for any of your dealing with any of the above mentioned. You are advice to forward your particulars as stated bellow.
Your Full Names
Your Current Address
Your Direct Phone Number
Expecting your immediate response, and urge you not to reply this message if you are not willing to pay the above mentioned fee.
Robert R. Jones III
American Bankers Association