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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Dr Timothy Sloan" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 May 2018 08:38:49 -0700
Subject: Re: CONFIRM YOUR PAYMENT OPTIONS.
Wells Fargo Bank.
Address: 2010 US Highway 98 W Ste B105 Ste 108,
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459, United States.
Attention is needed,
Greetings from the Wells Fargo bank. I have a vital information which needs to
be attended immediately. Did you authorized anyone to pick up your inheritance
fund from our branch in Santa Rosa Beach,FL? One Mr Andrew Cox came to our
office yesterday in-respect of your $8.5 million dollars which has been
credited with us for the past 2 years now by the Federal Government to be
transferred into your account. He said that you authorized him to pick up the
This fund has been in our custody for the past two years now and we have been
waiting for you to contact us but we didn't know what is hindering you from
reaching us since. So we decided to write to you to make sure that you are fine
and aware of the inheritance fund of $8.5 million dollars in our branch office
in Santa Rosa Beach,FL.
We want you to get back to us with the following details:
Beneficiary Full Name:
Home/ Office Address:
Mobile Phone number:
Sex: and Age:
This above listed details are needed as fast as possible if you didn't
authorize anyone to pick up your fund from our branch in Santa Rosa Beach,FL.
We have 3 means which you can use to receive your fund and you are to choose
the suitable option for yourself. Here are the options:
(1) Bank to Bank wire transfer: It will take only 24 hours for you to receive
your fund into your preferred account. The cost of transfer charge is $720.
(2) ATM Visa Card: It will take 48 hours for you to receive your ATM card with
the $8.5 million dollar inside the ATM card. The maximum amount you can
withdraw daily is $10,000 And it will cost $610.
(3) CASH DELIVERY: Your fund will be sealed in a box without anyone knowing
what is inside it and it will be delivered to your house in cash. It will take
3 working days to be delivered to your house. This will cost $450.
The above mentioned options are the medium which you can use to receive your
fund safely. Endeavor to get back to us as fast as you can with your details
and suitable option if you didn't authorize anyone to pick up your fund in our
branch. Your urgent attention are needed to enable us proceed with the
transaction as your funds has been Approved.Please kindly reply to this email:
Dr Timothy Sloan
Wells Fargo bank