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:
- "you are required to pay " (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. )
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "million dollars" (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: "Webmaster HON" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:13:11 -0200
Subject: WELCOME TO WELLS FARGO BANK USA
WELCOME TO WELLS FARGO BANK USA
Wells Fargo Bank Transaction Alert [Credit: US$10.7 MILLION]
(202) 660 4874
The Wells Fargo Bank controlling department controlling of the security transfer CODE which is wfu/200/105/09, the Authentication section code of this bank concludes the verification of your file. After going through all the documents of claim received by this department with justification and verification from the global strategy America, we are completely satisfied and you have been confirmed.
The Wells Fargo Bank concerning wire transfers of your funds. Your letter has been referred to the FSA Legal Division for Funds US$10.7 Million Dollars Transferred code. WFU/200/105/09. We are satisfied using Electronic Wire Transfer or Swift Wire Transfer and the rights and liabilities of using of electronic and Swift fund transfer systems are defined by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.. The regulation, however, which implements this statute, 12 C.F.R. Part 205, Regulation E. specifically states that its provisions are inapplicable to a situation such we must ensure your Funds Transferred to your destination Bank Account between 10 hours.
Considering the volume of your payment, it is right for us to seek for the approval of some money regulatory Boards here in United States before we can carry out the Transfer of an amount of such magnitude to anybody, otherwise any such transfer will be stopped by the Financial Service Authorities and the International Monetary Fund, since your Transfer is Electronic Transfer is almost activated with our bank and the only thing holding the final activation of your Account are Electronic wire transfer and Approval Document charges from the concerned Authorities here in United States, and for that reason, you are required to pay the Sum of $162 only The TOTAL FEE for the transfer and to obtain the necessary documents that will enable the final activation of your Funds.
Wells Fargo Bank hereby state officially that the required payment will remain the only and final monetary obligation required from You prior to the final transfer of your funds, hence any further charges will be our bank's full responsibility till final transfer of your payment is made to your bank account. In respect you are required to send the Electronic Transfer and Approval Documents fee $162 only BANK B, under section 47-4A302 of Wells Fargo Bank United States of America's law, a depository institution which wire transfers funds may not deduct any fees for handling the wire transfer from the amount of money which is to be transferred to your provided Bank Account. The fastest Wire Transfer is Electronic Transfer which only takes just 3 hours to reflect in Account, and Swift Wire transfer takes 5 hours to remit.
You are require to get back to me if you are pleased with the Banking rules to issue you information where you can the required charges for your Funds $10.7 Million Wire Transfer processing to commence as soon as possible. This law is stated according to section 35 And 36 of the banking sector interaction realm of our constitution and the outside world. Based on article of association and memorandum of association, the Chase controlling agency of USA and your happiness suits our stand and we will make sure that your fund is fully endorsed to your bank account as soon as you have comprehended with our instructions. NB: THIS TRANSACTION IS BEING MONITORED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO GUARDS US FOR INTERNET IMPOSTORS. Designated bank account details for Electronic Transfer to avoid mistake or should in case you created a new account
Bank Name and Address
If at any time you have questions, concerns or comments, please contact us as we strive to ensure that you will always receive a prompt and courteous attention.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve your banking needs.
Mr. Timothy J. Sloan
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo Bank