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:
- "million 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Customer Service <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 21:30:41 -0800
Subject: Re: Your Banking Information
Message to the family of the deceased
I wish to draw your attention to the above contract unclaimed funds, which have already been programmed for immediate transfer through Bank to Bank wire transfer. Your outstanding payment sum of $10.3 Million dollars files has been Deposited into Federal Reserve Escrow Online Account of Federal Reserve bank of New York for immediate attention. In a nutshell, Mr.Charles Bloom will assist you to ensure that you receive details regards the proceeding on how to claim your fund through Mr. Kenneth Lamar, of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Escrow Department, therefore contacts him through the below information:
Charles Bloom private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, a surprising message was addressed to my office by Mr. Walter this morning who confirmed that you are dead that you died last week of COVD-19, He also submitted his account information to this department requesting the transfer of the funds to him as your Successor.I do not believe the story because an attempt has been made several times to divert the funds since approved for payment into another account but I always decline to append my signature hence this message to you.
However, kindly reconfirm below information for clarification if you are alive.
Complete Home/Residential address
1) Full Name------------------
2) Private phone number--------------
Your international passport/driver's License Photo Copy (Attached )
Mr. Williams White