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:
- "account opening" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Denisa A. Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2016 15:28:26 +0700
Subject: Attn:Beneficiary.Your Fund Has Been Transferred To Cibc Bank Canada
After my personal meeting with the Board and Management of ( CBN,in Abuja, this morning concerning your fund, it was concluded that your funds should be paid to you through our affiliate bank which is nearest to you in Canada, The CIBC AMICUS BANK CANADA, They have all the legal rights and back up to transfer your funds into your bank account without any delays or questions from any body or governments of any Nations.
So please return back to me so I can forward to you immediately the contact information of the paying bank in Canada, and request how best you would like to receive your fund that is currently deposited in their STRONG ROOM for easy and onwards remittance into your account co-ordinates. You may also request for an account opening with the bank to enable you obtain the ( CIBC BANK EAZY CARD transaction ATM.
NO PAYMENT IS REQUIRED FROM YOU FOR THE ACCOUNT OPENING.
I await your urgent response.