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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Hua Xia Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 21:12:52 -0700
Subject: Re: HXB USD16.5M Overdue Fund
I am Mrs. Betsy Blair, I work with Hua Xia Bank as UK representative staff here in China, I am the Remittance Officer, However, I got your email address in my search for an international partner with a business oriented personality in my private study in the internet to transact this business with. Note, I wish to place your name as the beneficiary to USD16,500,000.00 Million due to the death of the depositor who died many years ago along with her family.
The funds I am referring to is right here in this bank floating in suspense account, therefore I solicit for your cooperation to be in collaboration with me to have this done, it will be transferred into an account you will provide any where in the world once approved in your name.
Note, 50% of the USD16,500,000.00 will be for your cooperation and assistance while the other 50% is for me and on hearing from you i shall furnish you with more details on what next to do, but for the time beeing I will need you to provide me the following information urgently to enable the attorney which i will be hiring start the processing of the all the relevant legal documents for the fund remittance to you as the bonafide beneficiary.
1)Your Full Name:
Awaiting your quick response,
Mrs B. Blair.