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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "U.S Bank" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2021 02:49:03 +0100
Subject: Dear Customer, Reply soonest if you are alive
This is to let you know that we received a message from Donald Ryer who
claims to be your cousin. He told our bank that you died Friday, 25 July
2021, as a result of Corona Virus and have been buried. He explained to us
that before you were taken away, you directed him to take over the business
you have with our bank and his $12,800,000.00 USD to be transferred to his
account for the benefit of the family you left behind.
Our bank has decided to contact you to know if you are alive or dead as
claimed by your cousin. if we did not hear from you, we will conclude that
it is true you die as result of coronavirus pandemic and our Bank will have
no option that to allow your cousin to claim your $12,800,000.00
Be sure to check your spam folder in case it goes there.
Reply soonest E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , Phone: +1
U.S. Bank - San Angelo, Texas
3121 Sunset Drive, San Angelo, TX 76904 United States