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 united state 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.David Robertson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2021 09:51:53 +0100
Subject: WELCOME TO WELLS FARGO BANK
WELLES FARGO BANK
Banker Perimeter Center Branch
Atlanta, GA, USA
via Wells Fargo
TO YOUR ATTENTION!
This is to inform you that a compensation payment in the amount of
US$5,000,000.00 (Five Million United State Dollars) was legally
approved and deposited few
days ago in our Wells Fargo bank Branch Office here in Atlanta Georgia
United States, and it was deposited in your name by the foreign debts
compensation committee of the Executive Directors Of World
Bank Group in conjunction with the European Union Board Of Directors,
and they instructed us to credit this fund direct to your private bank
immediate effect, Meanwhile, the good news about your fund now is that
your compensation payment file with some of the legal documents
backing this fund has
been forwarded to the US Department of State and the United Nations
for final approval, And we shall proceed with the
transfer immediately we hear from you because we were mandated to
transfer this fund to you as one of the beneficiary whose the name is
listed in the World Bank foreign debts settlement/compensation
However, Please note that Wells Fargo bank have decided and agreed
together to send this payment to you by either bank wire transfer,
online bank or by ATM
Card, means depending on the option you would prefer to receive this fund for
security purpose, so you are therefore advised to quickly get back to
the management of this bank and let us know the option you choose to
have your fund
credited into your account.
We wait your immediate response with your information below to enable
Wells Fargo bank proceeds immediately with the transfer of your fund
as we were
Valid Phone number:
banking full details
Kindly get back to us by reconfirming your full information.
Thank you, God Bless America.
Email Address, email@example.com
Phone Number text or call +1(646)701-8072
Wells Fargo bank Georgia United States Banker Perimeter Center Branch
Atlanta, GA, USA
via Wells Fargo