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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Dietmar Grebs" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 09:41:30 +0100
Subject: LET US TAKE CARE OF YOUR PTC CLAIMS.
Because of the recent âEU Financial Mop-up Exerciseâ, the EU Funds Release Institution in Switzerland discovered many âFinancial Payment Malpracticesâ on âInheritance&Contract PTC Claimsâ and, payment files that have since been abandoned.
Your e-mail address happens to be on one of such files and that`s the reason you`re being contacted.
It`s evident from your âPayment Fileâ that because of having been working with corrupt officials and, sometimes, impostors; you have been paying unending âup-frontâBills and Charges on your claims for International Funds Transfer (IFT), without having your claims successfully approved and paid out to you.
We`re here to help!
But, first, this is what you must doâ¦ you MUST STOP any further communications with any officials regarding your payment claims, especially, in Africa.
Your funds will be paid out after the final verification process in Switzerland, at no cost, through the assigned financial institution in the UK.
You`re advised therefore, to revert to this office immediately upon receipt of this e-mail message, to commence the hitch-free process of claiming your Inheritance/Contract funds.
Please contact Mr. Dietmar Grebs at Email Address:( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for further instructions.
Rememberâ¦. It`s at no cost and it`s hitch-free!
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation
Mr. Dietmar Grebs