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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Amstrong" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2017 11:45:51 -0300
Subject: DID YOU GET MY MAIL?
Dear Sir/ Madam,
This is National Crime Investigation Center USA.
In our investigations from banks on International and National Funds Transfer (INFT) protocols in the past 10 years records from all banks worldwide. We have come across your contact details and record with one of the Banks. In view of the carried investigations, we have contacted you confidentially for vital information toward your transaction with this bank.
However, all former bank officials who mishandled your transaction has been duly disolved and dismissed from bank work and your funds deposited with The America Clearing House. Upon our investigation conclusion, we found out that your transaction was legitimate and for this reason and all delays, a compensation amount 0f $3,150,567.00 (Three million one hundred and fifty thousand, five hundred and sixty seven dollars) has been awarded to you for immediate payment through The Clearing House.
Mrs Felicia Amstrong