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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "WORLD BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2019 03:08:45 -0700
Subject: URGENT REPLY
WORLD BANK Foreign Remittance Department,
Uited Nations approved Ten Million Dollars $10.000.000.00 for you as part of compensation. If you fail to cotact bank within three banking days your fund will be confiscate to the Government treasury, to avoid this ugly situation we have decided to consult the Group managing Director of Banks in Africa to assist us get your fund transfer through Bank online account or ATM CARD since we having difficulties to get the fund transferred to you via Western Union.
Guaranty Trust Bank Ghana has a tremendous records since its inception in sending some huge amount out of this country to any destination account world wide because of this we have deposited your fund to the Bank vault account to get your fund transfer to your account as soon as you contact the Foreign Remittance Director, On this important development which we consider as a good news we hereby advise you to go ahead and contact the Director of Bank which is one of the biggest Bank in this part of the world.
Mr. John Duggan,
Guaranty Trust Bank,
Foreign Remittance Department,
Go ahead and contact him on his e-mail and call him on his telephone number as you contact him to enable him get your online bank account and get the fund transfer to your nominated Bank account immediately through the Bank specialize Electronics Swift transfer which will take only 48 hours for all the fund to be reflected to your own Bank account.
Provide your personal information below as you contact him for more identification that there sending the fund to the right person.
Your full name:?
Your Complete mailing Address:?
Your Telephone Number:?
All these is been needed as you contact the Bank Director on his e-mail and telephone as well, Keep me noted as soon as the fund enter into your account for our official perusal.
World Bank President.