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:
- "million 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: MR Anthony Sharett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2023 09:54:13 -0700
Subject: META BANK,
Greetings from the Meta Bank, I have vital information which needs to
be attended immediately. Did you authorize anyone to pick up your
inheritance fund from our branch in 57108 SD Falls Sioux 5501 USA,? a
person named Mr Andrew Cox came to our office in 57108 SD Falls Sioux
5501 USA, Ave-in respect of your $5.5,000 million USD which has been
credited with us for the past 6 months now by the Federal Government
to be transferred into your account He said that you authorized him to
pick up the Inheritance.
your inheritance has been in our custody for the past six months now
and we have been waiting for you to contact us but we didn't know what
is hindering you from reaching us since.So we decided to write to you
to make sure that you are fine and aware of the inheritance fund of
$5.5 million dollars in our branch office in
57108 SD Falls Sioux 5501 USA, Which Mr Andrew Cox want us to transfer
to his Bank of America Account so your Urgent response is needed
before we proceed with this transfer to Mr Andrew Cox account We want
you to get back to us with the following details immediately if you
are still interested to receive your inheritance.
Make Sure You Send your information requested to Verify your
inheritance and start working on it immediately. Thank You
YOUR NAME: =======
YOUR ADDRESS: ========
YOUR ID CARD:======
Yours in Service,
President of Metabank