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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
Date: 1 Nov 2019 23:45:41 -0700
Subject: TRANSFER DEPARTMENT
The Clearing House is pleased to commence on the final payment
release of your blocked funds, through the Clearing House Inter-
bank Payment System (CHIPS).
This message is notifying you that your blocked and overdue
funds, that has been in the coffers of the Treasury Department's
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), is finally unblocked and
authorized for immediate wire transfer into your receiving bank
account by the Clearing House.
We at the Clearing House would want you to reconfirm your
banking coordinates with us.
Please kindly confirm your information carefully in clean and
clear letters,for the immediate processing of your payment claim.
Should you have any question(s), you can call.
You are advised to stop all comunications with any person till
you receive the money in your account.
Also if you have lost any money in the past, you will be