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.
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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:
- "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.
- 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: "MR. JAMES J. WEDICK" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2021 08:32:25 +0100
Subject: RE:FBI RECOVERY OF DIVERTED ATM CARD j
Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI
John F. Kennedy International Airport
RE:FBI RECOVERY OF DIVERTED ATM CARD
I am contacting you personally to notify you of our discovery as well as get some facts from you because recently we arrested a Peru Citizen who works with a custom office in John Kennedy International Airport New York with an ATM CARD bearing your name on it as the beneficiary and the owner of the card. However the entire parcel containing the proof of claim of ownership which includes 4 digit secret PIN # also in your name has also been recovered from him.
After we arrested and interrogated him, he confessed his name as Mr. Juan Foster who works with the Chief Control Custom office, in John Kennedy International Airport New York He further confessed that he was approached by chief Control Custom about the diversion of a parcel containing ATM MASTER CARD belonging to one foreigner which he agreed and then they collaborated to divert your ATM MASTER CARD value USD$10,5 Million Dollars from been dispatched to the real destination.
To further conclude our investigation, we would like to hear from you immediately to enable us to send out your ATM card back to you once your information is the same with what we have here in our record. Awaiting your immediate response re-confirming your full contact details for verification and investigation so that the card can be sent to you.
The details we need are as follows:
1. Your Full names
2. Your contact address.
3. Your Direct Phone Number.
MR. JAMES J. WEDICK
John F. Kennedy International Airport