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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: SUN TRUST BANK USA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2022 16:16:16 +0100
Subject: LETTER FROM SUN TRUST BANK
This particular letter is strictly confidential and only for your perusal.
Based on your inability to complete your claim from your previous
transactions, we have been officially appointed by World Bank - Switzerland
to release the already ear-marked (assigned) sum of (US$10,500,000.00) to
you as a form of settlement of debt. Officially, you are the true
beneficiary to the stated sum. The US Treasury Department and the
Securities/Exchange Commission are collectively ready to APPROVE and ORDER
for the immediate swift wire transfer of your due funds via Telegraphic
Transfer/Telex Transfer (Swift).
As a matter of fact, we are ready to affect the onward remittance of your
due fund but your partner/representative (Mr. Donald Parker) from Georgia
has advised us to transfer your fund into his own personal account. The
mentioned person (Mr. Donald Parker) said that you authorized him to help
you collect your due fund from this bank. And he is ready to pay a transfer
fee of $750 to get this done.
Please confirm to us if we should release your due fund to your
partner/representative (Mr. Donald Parker). We hereby anticipate your swift
response because this is urgent.
Mr. William H. Rogers, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Sun Trust Bank - USA.