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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Bar John Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2019 08:47:51 -0300
Subject: RE: Are You Dead or Alive
I'm Bar John Williams, the Chief Executive Officer of the Minister of Finance. We wish to urgently
confirm from you if actually you know one Mrs. Evelyn F. Rochelle who claims to be your business
Kindly reconfirm this application put in by Mrs. Evelyn F. Rochelle - she submitted the under listed bank account
information supposedly sent by you to receive the funds on your
The bank information she applied with are stated thus:
Account Name: Mrs. Evelyn F. Rochelle
Bank name: HSBC Bank NA
Bank address: #1230 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
Account Number: 0276367346
Swift Code: HSBCHKHHHKH
The said Mrs. Evelyn F. Rochelle is claiming to this office that you are dead and have Instructed that all relevant
documentation/Information regarding your Payment/Transfer, be changed to her as the beneficiary of the
payment short-listed among the foreign beneficiaries entitled to receive their payment.
For your Information, this Government has approved the total amount of EIGHT MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED
THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY, in your favor, prior to the Federal Government instructions/mandate
to offset all outstanding payments to the various legal foreign beneficiaries around the world and your payment
file was affected. We need to confirm from you if it's really true that you are dead as made mention by your Associate.
You should note that, if we do not hear from you, we automatically assume that you are actually dead and the
information passed to us by Mrs. Evelyn F. Rochelle is correct. Hence, you are hereby requested to reply this Email
immediately for confirmation, before we proceed with this payment and for us to know the true position of things
with you so that we won't make any mistakes/errors in remitting your out-standing payment to a wrong person/account.
Lastly, you are advice to reply back this email and reconfirm the details of this message if truly you're alive.
Direct telephone number.........
Your quick response will help us a lot.
Bar John Williams
Email : email@example.com