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 us 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Herbert Finley" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:49:48 -0700
Subject: Re: Your urgent reply is needed.
Good day to you and I hope this message finds you well.
This is to inform you that during the course of our investigation, I discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank and Government regulatory organization who are trying to divert your funds into their private accounts.
Resolved in the security vote meeting to pay out an outstanding entitlement of US$950,000,000 [Nine Hundred and Fifty Million US Dollars] years past but yet to be paid out.
The board and committee members are aware that you never received your payment and was consequently reverted into payment through wire transfer that was deposited at Zenith Bank International Plc, with instructions that the your funds should be wire transfer into your said bank account.
You should endeavor to contact the contracted company firm for the processing of your fund as contracted. In your best interest, I advise that you decline the further receipts of emails notifications to this effect. Contact the supervisor below for delivery information of your shipment.
Assigned Agent/Supervisor: Mr. Suvo Sarkar
They are waiting to hear from you as soon as possible regarding the processing of your fund and i advice you to follow their instructions giving you to so that you will be able to process and receive your fund without any delay.
Sir Herbert Finley.
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