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:
- "levy " (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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "FSCS" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2023 10:41:59 -0800
Subject: Official Notification (Ref: FSCS/23/SPA057)
This is to inform you once again that we are surprised at your continuous silence despite our numerous notification messages.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has been mandated as an independent body set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), and funded by a levy on "authorized financial services firms". The scheme covers deposits, intercepted foreign and local payment, inheritance payment, insurance policies, insurance brokering, investments and mortgages, credit card, unpaid contract, lotto winning claims, dating scam or any form of scam related victims.
Your email is listed in our record as a scam victim, and it is our pleasure to bring to your notice once again that your pending unclaimed compensation fund worth the sum of US$2.4 Million dollar (Two Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollar) in our custody.
In order to proceed with your compensation fund claim, kindly confirm your Full name, Contact address, Phone number, Age, Occupation, Sex and Quote ref FSCS/23/SPA057.
Note that this office will not be held liable for fund transfer into an unverified individual account. Hope to read from you soon.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Whatsapp: +44 740 549 9375