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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "a security company " (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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: JOCELYN DESGAGNE <email@example.com>
Reply-To: JOCELYN DESGAGNE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2017 16:59:28 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE IS HIGHLY IMPERATIVE!!!!
YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE IS HIGHLY IMPERATIVE!!!!
In accordance to my religious persuasion, I felt expedient to write and inform you on the wicked conspiracy hatched by the duo of DIPLOMAT STEVEN CORTES and MR. EDWIN BERGESTROM in Benin Republic to divert your money to their designated account in Europe. From my position as a lowly clerk in this office, I discovered that they moved the fund from United Kingdom to China, and then moved it last week to Banco Italiano in ITALY. Today I found out through the Central computer database that they are about to reroute your fund to a security company in West Africa where they will be able to maneuver the strict IMF money laundering regulatory orders. With this, I felt that it is important for me to alert you on this development.
They are still using your name and contract/inheritance identification number as the beneficiary but they have changed the account co-ordinate and this is the reason they are frustrating you by asking for endless fees in order to buy time pending on when they will transfer your funds to their designated account in Cayman Islands. I have the reference number of the transaction and also I have the number of the official who is directly in charge at the SECURITY COMPANY. Your payment is supposed to go through the JPMorgan Chase Bank before final Lodgment into the security company. All the data about your claim profile are within my reach. I do not need gratification from you either in cash or kind. I can never be a part of evil; YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.
Please respect my discretion in this matter, you can send an email to me so that I can give you the Chase Bank information, the name and contact information of the officials of the bank where your fund will be transferred to you directly. I repeat, please do not expose my person, it is not easy to get jobs around here and I cannot contend with these powerful individuals because they can eliminate me just like that.
God bless you.