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:
- "activation 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. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "Mary Jaharis" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2019 23:48:12 -0700
Subject: WEALTH MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO.
I am sure this mail will be coming to you as a bite of a surprise since we have never meet before and you may also be asking yourself why I have decided to choose you amongst the numerous internet users in the world, suffice it to say my principle stands as my assurance to you. No stranger can say if he is trustworthy without knowing each other for a period of time. Only by action will this shows the person's character for this case. My name is Mary Jaharis, wife of late Michael Jaharis, for more information please visit (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jaharis).
I have an insured dormant investment account with a Private Investment Bank containing the sum of one million six hundred thousand euros and I want you to have this account and the money if you are capable. The account is currently dormant due to my health difficulties, I was not able to operate the account for over 5 years, leaving the account in the current dormant state.
The investment account is protected by my insurance policy making any deduction impossible which means you will have to pay for the account reactivation fee and if you can, then all you have to do is forward this email to my account manager, she is already aware of my decision and she will assist you in the online bank transfer process of the funds to your own Account. If you can handle the account reactivation fee, here is the contact details of my account manager and my account details for verification
Bank Name: NTrust Private Investment Bank | Contact Person: Elvera JOHN | Email: email@example.com | Account Number: 7764998370012 | Account Name: Mary Jaharis | Account Next of Kin Transfer Code: NTPIB77568-0012MJ.
I want you to show commitment to liberation course I am charting for you,it is upto you,As The Bank will only waiting to an extend whereby noting is hear from me or next of Kin, They will write their report and recommendation as it expected of they By the USA government to take the appropriate action on that and return the Fund as unclain to National treasury.
If you are ready to follow my directive and work with my account manager, you can contact him because this will be my very last mailto you on this matter.