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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. John Knowles." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2019 11:09:26 -0800
Subject: Please Read : We Are Really Worried.G3.109.
I hope that this correspondence is received with the
urgency and expediency required.
It has come to the notice of the Board of Trustees of
the Federal Clearing House here in Washington, D.C. that
your outstanding funds application being handled by the
Remitting Offices in Africa is experiencing some man made
irregularities. To this effect, it has become necessary
for the Board of Trustees to assign trained Fund Transfer
Specialists from the United States to resolve and regularize
your fund release with immediate effect.
We at John Knowles & Consults have been duly consulted
by the Federal Reserve Board of Trustees in Washington.
We have been fully informed about how the staff of the
remitting offices have been taking advantage of you by
telling you to pay unnecessarily exorbitant charges which
will only make your fund payment a long drawn out process.
Due to this development, we have been assigned to step
into the immediate processing of your claims application
to enable your funds to be transferred to you within the
shortest possible time. To implement this, you are to
get back to us immediately without needing to pay all
the huge sums of monies that are being demanded from
you by the previous handlers at the remitting bank.
All processes to have your funds paid to you immediately
through the Liaison Remittance Office in New York
have been initiated to cut out unnecessary costs.
You are advised to treat this communication with the urgency
and seriousness required as the Board of Trustees of the Federal
Reserve has mandated us to resolve this fund payment within
the next three working days independent of the Remitting
Offices in Africa.
Furthermore,you are hereby advised to pay no further fees or
charges to these offices as they shall no longer be handling your
We shall await your immediate correspondence with your direct
telephone numbers to my private email address at ( email@example.com )
for re-confirmation so that we mayconclude your payment immediately.
John Knowles & Consults.