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:
- "required 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. )
- "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.
- 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: "Robert E. Marling Jr" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2021 12:48:07 -0800
Subject: Dear Email Owner
Wood-forest National Bank.
762 banking locations. corporate headquarters
1330 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands Texas
From the Board of the Woodforest National Bank Texas are hereby to
Notify you about the latest development concerning your payment that
are left in our custody, besides for the past few months, you were
asked to pay the sum of $1000 in order to receive your payment of
US$27.500,000.00 usd. However we haven't heard from you for sometime
now. Hence, we are now offering you a special Christmas BONUS to help
you receive your funds in our custody before the 20th of December 2021
because we realized that your silent to us is due to the high fee we
charged you. In other words we are now requesting that you should pay
only the sum of $50 to receive your funds abandoned in our custody and
you have until the 20th of December 2021 to pay the fee of $50
otherwise the total funds will be confiscated. Note we are to pay you
via online transfer or Atm card if you wish so.
Therefore you are requested to send the $50 fee only by Stream Wallet
or eBay card or Nordstrom or Sephora or America Express 3779 or Google
Play CARD, is also ACCEPTED because it can be redeemed to cash all we
needs is picture of the card and the purchase receipt.
Kindly reconfirm to the bank the following
1. Bank Name:
2. Account Holder's Name:
3. Bank account number:
4. Route number:
5. Swift code:
6. Your telephone number:
7. Bank Address:
9. Email ID:
I will be forwarding to you, the account logging details of your
online account which enables you access your funds online and how to
process your transfers online to any designated bank account in any
part of the world Or Tracking Number Of Your ATM Card Delivery to
enable you Monitor the Arrival of your ATM without any further delay
as soon as you update us with a copy of the cards and the purchase
receipt of the required Fee $50.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve your banking needs.
Robert E. Marling Jr.
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer,
Chief Executive Officer of Woodforest National Bank
And Director of Woodforest National Bank