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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: First Bank<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 07 Dec 2018 06:28:45 +0300
Subject: RE: SWIFT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan
Director Foreign Operation
Department ATM card
First Bank of Nigeria.
RE: SWIFT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT
After extensive close door meeting with board of directors and
other stakeholders in the Government
including subcommittees ofthe house of Assembly and the House of
Rep Federal Republic of Nigeria. It
was resolved and agreed upon that your fund would be released on
a special method off payment, by Tag
name Reads Swift Credit Card.
This method of payment is designed by the Government to avert
fraud perpetration or stoppage of fund
by some agences. Either through Anti Terrorist Certificate or
other Certificates. This Swift Credit
Card would be issued to you as soon as you respond to this email,
this Bank hasbeen mandated to take
charge of the issuance of the swift credit card and your payment
file should be passed to my desk for
Upon certification that your payment file is OK, this office will
direct you on how to receive your
over due fund via ATM Swift Credit Card. But please note that we
can not be able to pay you the full
payment due to inadequate fund, we will only pay you the sum of
five Million Dollars ($5,000,000) as
part payment, please bear with us and we promised to make an
arrangement for your remaining payment in
five months time in the light of this aformentioned, your are
required to furnish this office with the
Your Full Name:
Next of Kin Name:
Date of Birth:
Your Telephone number:
The card would be issued in your favour, and all your information
will be inserted into the card. Upon
completion of this issuance of the credit card, it will be send
to you together with the access PIN
Number via Courier to your residential address. Do reply to the
below email address
(email@example.com) as we proceed with your payment
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan
First Bank Nig. Ltd.