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:
- 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. )
- "moneygram" (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. )
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- MoneyGram money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. Along with Western Union it is a 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.John E. Whitley"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:39:29 -0700
Subject: RE-IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF 13.8MILLION USD
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY.
C/O THE WHITE HOUSE 1600 PENNSYLVANIA
WASHINTON,DC 20005 USA.
RE-IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF 13.8MILLION USD
My name is Mr.John E. Whitley the secretary to the Federal Ministry of Finance United State of America to be precise, I hereby to bring to your notice about your immediate payments of $13.8m,Your funds $13.8m has being deposited to the PNC BANK UNITED STATE (PNC) and this deposit was made officially by our seating president Donald Trump with this deposit certificate number,200089748 and he orderd the said bank to transfer the funds to your account as soon as you contact them.
During his campaign for his first term in the office of the president then he received a lot of complaint from the international community and united nations as well that a lot of scams has being going on in this country and with this reason he vow that if he assume the office for the first term as president then he is going to deal with the issue of the scammers and pay the people that were involves on it in the pass And your name was found on the list that was submitted to our office recently that your yet to be paid.
And through the legal information arrives to us here that most of the scammers are using western union and MoneyGram for the scamming activities, telling the innocent people that western union will pay them such big amount of money. We want to let you know today that western union has no right to handle such payments so stop wasting your time with them.
Your funds $13.8m can only be transfer to your Account online by PNC BANK the appointed bank by the federal government to transfer your funds directly to your account once you contact them with all your bank details.
The funds were available at the bank now and the Operation Manager Mr. William Johnson has being waiting for you to contact them today for your payments.
So contact the PNC Bank Immediately you receive this email message and you can also call the Manager on phone and ask him to transfer your funds into your provided account.
This is the Contact E-mail Address of the PNC BANK.(PNC)
Contact Person Mr. Williams Johnson (Operation Manager)
Please Do not forget to contact the PNC Bank with all your bank details such as follows
1. Full Name And Address ......
2. Your Bank Account Number..
3. Swift Code Number..
4. The Bank Name ...........
5. The address of your bank....
6. Your direct telephone number....
Note that the funds were deposited with the Insurance bond and this is the insurance certificate number, 0529, So feel free to contact the directed Bank Immediately. The PNC Bank May request the fee of $550.00 from you which will serve as the value added task(VAT) according to the Bank Manager. And the $550.00 was the only fee needed on this transaction and as you are contacting them today then ask them where you can send the $550.00 to them to get your funds transferred to your account online immediately.
Do let me know immediately you receive the funds. God bless you as I wait to hear from you soon.
Mr.John E. Whitley
Federal Ministry of Finance USA.