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 united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Wehner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 20:07:29 +0300
Subject: OFFICE OF THE US AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS
*OFFICE OF THE US AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS11 GARIKI ROAD NICOSIA CYPRUS.
NICOSIA CYPRUS. Tel +12342018840ATTENTION BENEFICIARY*
*I think I have tried my best to assist you and I will not contact you
again, I can see you do not want this accrued interest. However, I cannot
force you to claim this accrued interest amount, it is your choice to
either comply or decline this offer. I know you might have been defrauded
or scammed by some criminals but that does not make everybody that
contacted you is a fraudster or a scammer.*
*I decided to pay this accrued interest amount to you out of my freewill,
I can decided to pay it to another person if I wish, but my spirit directed
me to contact you so you should be grateful that I contacted you, but if
you feel offended by my mail, then I am sorry.*
*I have gone through your file and your details and everything about you
that is the reason I contacted in order to pay this accumulated interest
amount of $5,000,000.00USD (Five Million United State Dollars ) to you
because I know you need it. But it is unfortunate you now refer me to be
like those who defrauded and scammed you in the past. I am a honorable and
sincere man and will urge you trust me, in my honor I swear I will not
*This inter-switch ATM Card has been processed and programmed to pay you a
maximum amount of US$5000 per day with single withdrawal of US$500 or
US$1000 per withdrawal. however and due to your financial situation, I have
decided to assist with more US$50, So if you are interested to receive
this accumulated interested amount of $5,000,000.00USD (Five Million
United State Dollars ) then go ahead and forward only US$100 without delay
or excuses, but if you cannot then let call it a quit while I try with
another beneficiary on the pay role. I just want to assist you. Here are
the transfer details.*
*THANK YOUAmbassador Kathleen A. Doherty.U.S Ambassador to Cyprus*