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:
- "account opening" (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. )
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Capital One Bank <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 07:52:45 +0900
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary
We, the Capital One Bank has received a mandated instruction letter from the Federal Reserve Bank New York to release your inheritance fund worth â¬ 10.5m Euro to you. And we are willing and ready to release the amount to you as advised by the above stated finance firm. But due to the issues or problems facing global inheritance wire transfers in demanding different kinds of documents by numerous impostors and impersonators before the successful completion of your transaction, we, have decided to release your fund through the fastest way of Online or telephone banking system. And it has been approved by the U.S government authority under the supervision of the FBI, CIA and Interpol which has been endorsed by these mentioned authorities, been for the immediate release of your fund within few working days as soon as you meet up with compliance as follows:-
Direct/ Cell number
Attached DL or Int'l Passport.
Note that the only amount it will cost you to open the Online or telephone banking system (Account Opening Balance Fee) in your name is â¬ 170 Euro only. For your information, this fee is obligatory so as to enable us set up the online account in your name and send you the account access details so that you will start transferring your fund to your local bank account.
Finally, we are waiting for your response so that you will be given instruction or directives on how to make the payment.
Your quick response will be mostly appreciated.
Yours in service,
CEO, Capital One Bank.