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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Don Foster" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 01:08:44 -0700
Subject: Re. Your Transfer "TRAVEL TO CANADA"6
I wish to inform you that the US$150M has been moved to Canada by our
fiduciary agent by name MR MICHAEL WILLIAMS. He is right now in Canada
to hand over the fund to you.It is important you meet him immediately.
The arrangement is that Mr Michael Williams will bring the fund to the
Royal Bank of Canada Montreal where you will meet with him for the
payment. You will need to open an account with the Royal Bank of
Canada Montreal in your name with US$15,000 (Fifteen thousand dollars
only) where the fund will be deposit for you upon your meeting with Mr
Therefore kindly arrange to go to the Royal bank of Canada Montreal
with US$15,000 (Fifteen thousand dollars only). This will be enough
to open an account in your name for the payment of the US$150M. Upon
your meeting with Mr Williams, he will assist you in perfecting all
the transaction in the bank. Mr Michael Williams will give you a call
as soon as i receive your reply to this mail with your acceptance of
the arrangement as indicated above.
As i mentioned above, Mr Michael Williams is already in Canada
awaiting to conclude this payment to you.
Kindly forward the following to get a call for a verball explanations on this.
: Your Full Names
: Your Private Phone number
: Your international Passport for identification
NOTE: YOU ONLY A-DAY-STAY IN CANADA TO HAVE THIS PROCESS COMPLETELY
Thank you for your efforts and corporation.
Mr. Don Foster