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:
- "million pounds" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Halifax Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 20:47:42 -0700
Subject: PAYMENT ON ACCRUED INTEREST OF £9.7 MILLION POUNDS
PAYMENT ON ACCRUED INTEREST OF £9.7 MILLION POUNDS
We sincerely apologies for the delay in the payment and discovered the reason why you have not yet received your payment. It is because of Irregularities and Complications discovered on your payment file by our technical experts in respect to your payment requirements which have just been duly rectified, meanwhile from our record in my file your outstanding payment is £9.7 Million Pounds(Nine Million Seven Hundred Thousand Pounds). Right now we have arranged your payment for your onward transfer.
we hereby issue you our Code of Conduct Tag Number which is (#573) so you have to indicate this code when contacting us, kindly get back to us as soon as possible for your payment.
Expecting your immediate response
Mrs. Patricia Tyler