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:
- 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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. Todd Beeman" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 08:09:17 -0800
Subject: WAITING FOR URGENT RESPONSE
After waiting to hear from you for a very long time without any email or telephone call, I have decided to make this direct approach to you in order not to let it be as if I have anything in mind against you. I do not know if you have asked yourself why each time the release of your funds is approved, all of a sudden, the payment transfer will be stopped or one problem or the other will come up. If you have not asked yourself this question or you do not know why, this is an opportunity for me to tell you.
Some time ago, your so called partner,I mean the person who introduced you to this very transaction, approached me in my office and requested me to assist you conclude a money transfer deal they had with you, they requested me to assist them by vetting and authenticating your full names into the computer in order to make you appear as the rightful beneficiary of the funds in question. I agreed on the condition that they will pay me $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand US Dollars) as soon as your name appears as the beneficiary. I did as we agreed and demanded to be paid but your representative/ partner started telling me stories. He even told me that you promised to send a car gift to me from the United States then. Do you know that up till now, I have not received a single cent from them and have not even set my eyes on any of them again.
Based on their wicked and ungrateful attitude, I decided to stop the funds release movement and approval Order because I cannot be denied my right in my own office considering the risk as it might affect my job. The reason why I am making this clear to you now is that I can see that you have spent a lot of money in order to conclude this transaction. I can see that you have sent so much money to the wrong people for the completion of the transaction but nothing good has been achieved. Now I am ready to forget the past, and help you with the immediate transfer of your funds. I only need your assurance that those of your distrusted and dubious partners will be totally kept out of this transaction.