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:
- ",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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Ann Marcus" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2017 23:53:57 +0100
Re: Payment Notification of your Inheritance fund of Five Million Five hundred dollars only(US$5,500,000.00)
The International Settlement department of Sun Trust Bank, USA is obligated to contact you for the immediate release of your Inheritance fund whose account has become dormant and subsequently transferred to this department as unclaimed fund.We received an authorization to pay you as the only authorized paying bank since other banks have failed.
However, our findings have revealed that the problem behind your inability to have received your fund from the corresponding bank resulted from lack of transparency, insincerity and incessant demand for money by your representative(s) for unusual payments. We have therefore decided to establish a direct payment system (DPS) with you for the prompt release of your funds without any hitch. We therefore request that you respond to this email immediately to enable us proceed with the release of your fund accordingly .Reconfirm the following information:
Phone & Mobile phone Number
Full Mailing address
We sincerely regret the inconvenience and delay of receiving your fund,be rest assured for prompt payment within three working days as arrangements have been perfected to release your fund without any further delay.You are advised to stop every conversation with any office to enable us serve you better.
As soon as I hear from you,I will give you further details.
Ms. Ann Marcus
Payment direct,International Settlement department
Sun Trust Bank,USA