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:
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your payment is being processed" (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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: "Jewel Alpha" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 03:00:31 +0100
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT
BANK OF KANSAS CITY
12112 Metcalf Ave
Overland Park, KS 66213
INTERNATIONAL/LOCAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT,
Our Ref: BKC/KS/OVERL/555/16,
Attention: Honorable Beneficiary,
We apologize for the delay of your payment and all the inconveniences that we may have indulged you through. Our records of outstanding contractors due for payment/transaction(s) linked with the British, West African, United States Government(s) and the Bank of Kansas City has your name/company discovered as next on the list of the outstanding contractors who have not received their payment(s).
I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter. Also note that from our records on file your outstanding contract payment is US$15.7million dollars (Fifteen Million seven hundred thousand united states dollars). Please re-confirm to us if this is in line with what you have in your record and also re-confirm to us the followings:
1) Your full name.
2) Phone, fax and mobile number (working and valid)
3) Company name, position and address. (Kindly specify if retired)
4) Profession, age and marital status. (Kindly specify if retired)
As soon as the above information requested are received, your payment will be processed following both international and local laws. Once all proper documentations are verified and validated your payment will be released. Your funds can also be paid to you in cash via our cash delivery diplomatic unit. You are hereby advised to respond immediately you receive this letter for further clarification.
Have a Blessed Day.
Direct Number: (620) 983-6432
BANK OF KANSAS CITY
LONG LIVE YOUR MONEY