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:
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Graham West" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2019 03:59:19 -0400
Subject: Important Information
Department of Financial Services.
Bureau of Unclaimed Property.
200 East Gaines Street.
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0358
United States of America.
My Name is Graham West and I work for the Department of Financial Services. Bureau of Unclaimed Property. I found that You have an unclaimed sum of money that was suppose to be remitted to you has just showed up at my office, maybe due to some unforeseen circumstance that allow you to finish your transactions home or abroad, so I took it upon myself to get in touch with you, before it will be forfeited as you still have the chance to claim yours.
Currently, states, federal agencies and other organizations collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits, which come from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits seizures of third party benefit, legal financial transactions, like lotto winnings, Inheritance claims that was abandon by individuals over skepticism etc. It was however ascertain that you were supposed to receive a sum of $4.5 million dollars beneficiary, kindly email this office for claims:
For more info please read:
And get back to me for more information on how to claim your funds before its marked unclaimed.