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:
- "account opening fee" (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. )
- "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. )
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- google play card and send the picture to my email: email@example.com so that i will redeem it to cash immediately and process (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "@office" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 00:11:40 -0800
Subject: Tow Wells Fargo Bank
I'm Dr. John Edward, Did you authorized anyone to pick up
your inheritance fund from our branch? James H. King, came
to our office yesterday in respect of your ($36.8m) which
was credited to us by the Federal Government to be transfer
to your account. We decided to hear from you to be sure that
you are aware of such funds claiming.
I wish to use this opportunity to informed you that we have
successful opened Wells Fargo Bank checking Account in your
name which will helps us to have a smoothly transfer from
Wells Fargo Bank to your Nominated bank account, and your
Wells Fargo Bank Checking Account Booklet and Wells Fargo
Bank Platinum ATM Card will be deliver to your destination
within the stipulated time frame 12hours upon receipt of
the Account Opening fee of $100.00 USD.
This means that as soon as we receive the Account Opening
fee of $100 we will make the delivery of your Walls Fargo
Bank Checking Account Booklet and Wells Fargo Bank Platinum
Master Card to your address between 12hours I will advice
you to purchase a $100 Apple Card or $100 Google Play Card
and send the picture to my email: email@example.com so that
i will redeem it to cash immediately and process your transfer
and other information's that will be deliver to you.
Fill the requested information correctly for the delivery
of your ATM Card and any time you have questions concerns or
comments, contact us as we strive to ensure that you will
always receive a prompt and courteous attention. Thanks and
Receiver Phone Number:..........
Your respond will be high appreciate to enable us proceed
with your transaction immediately.
Customers care contact