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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "FBI OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2019 03:58:49 -0700
Subject: FINAL FUNDS RELEASE
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (CIA) want to inform you officially that we discovered that you have not receive your long approved $10.5m .
You have Pending Value USD10.5M in your name waiting for certification before it can transfer into your account.
FBI and CIA is requesting (DIST DOCUMENTS) and (S.T.D.P DOCUMENT ) , in case you do not have the documents in your possession, contact us back to direct you where you will obtain these vital documents for immediate release of USD10.5M in your name.
U.S. Department of Treasury and other concern agencies have apologize for the delay in releasing your Winning or Inheritance funds.
For proper confirmation and legitimacy of this funds release in your name Kindly do all you can obtain (DIST DOCUMENTS) and (S.T.D.P DOCUMENT for the immediate release of the payment in your name
Mr.Christopher A. Wray
Director Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI
manager-powered by Information Communication Technology Dept.
(C) ICPC USA, registered trademark.