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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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)
- payment. i await your urgent response. email: firstname.lastname@example.org call +1(619)765-4392 regards email@example.com (Gmail, Mexico; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. JANET YELLEN," <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 01:50:35 +0100
ETC of LT & HT works in Industrial, Commercial, Residential,
Investment | Sub Station Works | Transmission & Distribution Line
PAYROLL Organisation | No 52, Office Complex. Green Avenue, Manhattan.
ISO 6922392: CERTIFIED COMPANY
Greetings from Office of the Minister of Finance Mrs. JANET YELLEN,
I am communicating to you base on the report I receive regarding an
unpaid ECOWAS Re-fund Approved Compensation Payment of $ 8,700,000.00
USD on your behalf.
your files are on our desk to pay you a total sum of Eight Million
Seven Hundred Thousand US dollars ($ 8,700,000.00 USD) as your ECOWAS
refund compensation payment.
We are having a disagreement with a lady by name Ms. Brenda A.
Thomas, from the United States of America, who contacted my office a
few days ago,
claiming to be your representative, she clearly informed my office
that you instructed her to receive your Unpaid ECOWAS Re-fund
Compensation $ 8,700,000.00 USD, on your behalf.
Is what she said true? I really need your urgent email to know if it is
true that she is your representative so I will start the process of the fund.
She even provided the account details below:
Account Name: MS. Brenda A. Thomas
Citibank Ban AmEx USA
2029 Century Park East Los Angeles, CA 90067
Routing Number: 126233645
Account Number: 5944130210
We request your confirmation before we can process this transfer to
Ms. Brenda A. Thomas's Bank Account.
You are advise to reconfirm your address immediately after receiving
this message that you are the person who instructed Ms. Brenda A. Thomas,
from the United States, to contact my office to claim your unpaid
ECOWAS Refund Compensation Payment.
I await your urgent response.