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:
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Charles Scott" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 22:11:15 -0800
Subject: Interpol Financial Crimes Dept
I am ( Dr.Charles Scott ) Inspector General of Police National Benin.
i contacted you to inform you that We received a letter from the
Central Bank and the US Treasury Department informing our office that
you sent Mr. Allen Smith and Mrs. Cynthia Edward from Canada. These
individuals claim to be your representatives, they presented a DEATH
CERTIFICATE on your behalf stating that, you are DEAD and before you
passed away you instructed them to come and claim your compensation
fund for you, as the rightful beneficiary.
They instructed our paying Bank to transfer your compensation fund
valued US$4,500,000.00 to their Account.If you did not send them, you
are required to provide us with the below information (for official
verification) without any delay via email, Your Full Name, Address.
and phone number,
I.G, Police Nationale
Interpol Financial Crimes Dept