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:
- "transferred into your bank account" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447035969549 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "WESMINISTER BANK PLC," <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "WESMINISTER BANK PLC," <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:34:52 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT
WESMINISTER BANK PLC,
10 Southwark Street ,
London Bridge , London - UK
Our Ref: NTB/WESTMIN/INTER-15
Your Ref: Affidavit: AFX 076GD7B24
REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$10Million)
please kindly reply with this email(firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is the second time we are notifying you about this said fund.
After due vetting and evaluation of your file that Was sent to us by the Nigerian Government in conjunction with the Ministry
of Finance and Central Bank of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This bank has an instruction to see to the immediate release of the sum of (US$10Million) of your claim that
has been holding since is transferred into your bank Account from their Domiciliary Account with this bank.
We were meant to understand from our findings that you have been going through hard ways by
Paying a lot of charges to see to the release of your fund (US$10Million),
Which has been the handwork of some miscreant elements from that Country.
We advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence from any bank, or anywhere
Concerning your funds as you will receive your fund from this bank if you follow our instruction.
Do not go through anybody again but through this Bank if you really want your fund.
Finally, you are advice to re-confirm these to us,
Your Full Name,
Telephone and Fax Number for easy communication.
We need your second email gmail or hotmail for security and private reasons.
please kindly reply with this emil (email@example.com)
Mr Anthony M. Smith
Head Of Account Department,
WesMinister Bank, London United Kingdom.