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:
- 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:
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Dr; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Financial Conduct Authority" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 07:36:55 +0100
Subject: YOUR FUND IS READY,,
Financial Conduct Authority
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
United State of America.
Our Ref: SFSA/EU8/PY18
We are not sure you received our previous message but we wish to congratulate and inform you that after all the verification of unclaimed, lottery , Inheritance, contract and compensation funds, your payment file was dictated unclaimed with Ref No: SFSA/EU8/PY18. The auditors report shows that you have been going through hard times by paying a lot of money to certain groups of individuals / offices for release of your fund with no avail because of some dubious officials that claims to be in possession of your fund while they are not.
Due to fraudulent activities all over the global world today, We therefore, advice you to stop further communication with any correspondence outside this office since you do not have to be paying that much fees to receive your fund.
Therefore, Your USD$10,280,000.00 (Ten Million Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand Dollars) will be release to you in any of the payment method of your choice. (1) Bank Transfer, (2) ATM Master Card.
For immediate release of your fund to you, kindly send your:
Direct telephone number:
Scan Copy of your identity card if any directly to information officer for adoption and facilitating of your payment.
PLEASE NOTE: All further correspondence should directly to Mrs Faith Stephenson at (email@example.com) and should have the reference number: SFSA/EU8/PY18 as your subject, with your details and payment method of your choice (Bank Transfer and ATM Swift Card) for prompt attention.
Mr Philip Morris.
For Financial Services Conduct.