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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Reserve Bank of India <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2019 12:12:03 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: The Reserve Bank of India has mandated by the United Nations to
release your outstanding payment of $10.7 million
The Reserve Bank of India has mandated by the United Nations to release your outstanding payment of $10.7 million as part payment for this fiscal year 2019. We therefore write to inform you that your payment is right here in our custody. Also we have concluded arrangement to transfer the funds direct to your bank account, if you would like to receive your fund this way please send us your information as listed below.
1. Your full name
2. Phone Number
3. Your age and current occupation
4. Scan copy of international passport of driving license.
For oral discussion, email us back as soon as you receive this important message for further direction. (email@example.com)
Reserve Bank of India.