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:
- "money gram" (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. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Alka Gupta <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2021 05:46:10 -0700
Subject: ATTENTION DEAR BENEFICIARY!!!!!!
Attention is needed,
Greetings from MONEY GRAM OFFICE . I have a vital information which
needs to be attended immediately. Did you authorized anyone to pick up
your compensation fund from our branch WASHINGTON? One Mr Andrew Cox
came to our office yesterday in respect of $10.5 million dollars
which has been credited with us for the past 6 months now by the
Federal Government to be transferred into your account. So we decided
to write you to make sure that your fund of $10.5 million dollars in
our branch office in WASHINGTON is secured. So contact our director
Julie E. Silcock with the following information. Contact her
immediately with the bellow phone number +1(562)741-3382 or email
We want you to get back to us with the following details:
1. Full name .............
3. Contact Address..........
4. Telephone Number ......
5. Marital Status .........
6. Occupation .............
7. Company ..............
This above listed details are needed as fast as Possible If You Did
Not Authorize Anyone To Pick Up Your Fund. We Have 4 Means Which You
Can Use To Receive Your Fund And You Are To Choose The Suitable Option
For You Here Are The Options:
(1) Bank to Bank wire transfer:
It will take only 3hrs hours for you to receive it into your bank
account and the transfer fee will cost you $400
(2) I Can credit your fund into ATM visa Card delivery:
It will take 48 hours for you to receive it and the delivery fee is $650
(3) Consignment box delivery:
Your fund will be sealed in a box without anyone knowing what is
inside It will take 3 working days to be delivered to your house. This
will cost $800
(4) Through paypal to paypal account which will take an hour and 30
minutes to be completed and it will cost just $250 .
Endeavor to get back to us your as in fast as you can with your
details in suitable branch. Urgent Attention Are Your Needed To Enable
S Proceed With The Transaction As Your Fund Is Ready For Delivery.
Director Alka Gupta
Thanks and Remain Blessed