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:
- "required fee " (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. )
- "i am using this medium to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. Dr. John Wool"<email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2019 15:03:32 -0700
Subject: OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Headquarters White House, Washington, D.C.
Information reaching us from our corporate headquarters through our president (DONALD TRUMP) now states that you have 72hours to effect payment of your compensation for the renewal of your payment file to enable you cash up your total funds of $6,700,000usd since you are finding it difficult to make this payment ,we have decided that you are to go ahead and pay whatever you have for the renewal fee as from $150 up since you are not able to come up with the total required fee ,time is of the essence here,You are to pay whatever you have for the file renewal fee; we will renew your file upon receipt of this payment.
Be informed that you will have to pay the balance of your renewal fee upon cashing up your total funds, Also I am using this medium to inform you that failure to pay the balance sum will leave us with no option but to deactivate your files of which you will receive and can never cash up the balance sum ,I want you to send the renewal fee with the information bellow.
You are required to send the fee by buying google play gift card and send the pictures to us immediately
His Excellency the president,
president & commander-in-chief of the armies forces