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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Juan Henry" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2019 11:59:25 -0800
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary
We are not sure you received our previous message but we wish to us this medium to officially inform you that following the ongoing review of all unclaimed and delayed funds by the United Nations and the World Bank, your payment file was forwarded to our office for immediate payment of your long delayed funds starting with a first transfer of US$10,000,000.00 with reference No. NG/FM14FGN, to your bank account.
However, we are surprised to receive another application this morning from your representative, MR.KRAUS MULLER,stating that you authorized him to transfer the funds to another bank account in Germany and that you were recently involved in an auto accident and cannot walk right now.
Could you please confirm immediately, your relationship with MR.KRAUS MULLER and also, confirm if the bank account in Germany as shown below is now your new bank account information to receive your funds this week from our paying bank
CREDIT SUISSE, D-80321 BREMEM,GERMANY
ACCOUNT NO: 098-11180933-109
IBAN: CH55 0910 3045 6011 91110 0
SWIFT CODE: AREZCHZZ8OU
Kindly get in touch with us today by email with your telephone number to confirm this information to avoid wrong transfer of your funds, so that we can proceed with the transfer of the US$10,000,000.00 to your correct bank account as scheduled.
Financial Services Regulation Committee
Plot 33,ATB Way Cadastral Zone,Abuja,NG