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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045767067 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448712184503 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: INTERNATIONAL POLICE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2022 02:47:23 -0800
Subject: RE. YOUR FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES.
IAN HOPKINS (UK)
INTERNATIONAL POLICE (INTERPOL UK).
803 FINANCIAL DIVISION
RE. YOUR FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES.
I AM IAN HOPKINS HEAD. INTERNATIONAL POLICE(INTERPOL) UK}.
THIS ORGANIZATION IS SET UP TO FIGHT AGAINST,CORRUPTION,CRIME AGAINST
CHILDREN,CYBER CRIME,DRUGS,ENVIRONMENTAL FASTID,FINANCIAL
CRIME,FUGITIVES,MARITIME PIRACY,ORGANIZED CRIME,PEOPLE
SMUGGLING,PHARMACEUTICAL CRIME, TERRORISM,TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN
BEINGS,TRAFFICKING IN ILLICIT GOODS,VEHICLE CRIME, WANTED PERSON,WAR
CRIME,WEAPON, WORKS OF ART ETC IN THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.
RECENTLY, WE HAVE BEEN WORKING CLOSELY WITH SECRET AGENCIES AROUND THE
GLOBE TRYING TO STOP INTERNET FRAUD THAT IS AIMED AT UNSUSPECTED
VICTIMS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE EUROPE
AND ASIA .
WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN WIRING OUT MONEY TO NIGERIA
BENIN REPUBLIC, GHANA ETC WHICH AMOUNTED TO OVER $1,000 DOLLARS.
FROM OUR INVESTIGATIONS WE DISCOVERED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH
FRAUDSTERS. THEY WILL DISAPPEAR ONCE THEY ARE DONE COLLECTING ALL YOUR
MONEY. AN EXAMPLE OF THEIR FRAUDULENT OPERATIONS INCLUDES:
WESTERN UNION FRAUD CHECK FRAUD
ATM CARD FRAUD CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA LOTTERY PROMOTION
ONLINE DATING SCAM ONLINE SALES SCAM
I THEREFORE OBLIGE THAT YOU RESPOND TO THIS E-MAIL IF YOU ARE IN THIS
SITUATION PRESENTLY OR PREVIOUSLY.
THIS IS TO ENABLE US ALSO DETERMINE THAT IF THESE TRANSACTION YOU ARE
DEALING INN IS LEGITIMATE OR NOT, AND ALSO AUDIT ALL DOCUMENTS ISSUED
TO YOU, ALSO TO SEE IF THE BANKS ASSIGNED TO TRANSFER YOUR MONEY IS
TRUE,LEGITIMATE AND ALSO TO DIRECT YOU APPROPRIATELY ON HOW AND BEST
POLICIES TO HAVE YOUR MONEY TRANSFERRED TO YOU.
YOUR MONEY COULD BE PAID BACK TO YOU , IF ONLY YOU ARE READY TO
CO-OPERATE WITH US BY GIVEN US MORE INFORMATION ON THE ACTIVITIES.
MORE DETAILS WOULD BE GIVEN TO YOU ONCE YOUR RESPONSE IS RECEIVED.
INTERNATIONAL POLICE UK(INTERPOL)