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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Christopher Ortiz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 07:52:14 -0500
Subject: Good Day.....................
I am Ms Carolyn Smith, a US citizen, Am 31 years old. I am
one of those people that took part in receiving Inheritance
funds and Lottery funds from European banks even from many
lottery organizers few years ago and they refused to pay me,
I had paid different fees while in the United States trying
to get my funds from those banks and lottery organizers but
all to no avail. So I decided to travel to Nigeria with all
my compensation documents, and I was directed by the IMF
Director to contact the reconciliator Attorney Alfred Morris
who is an attorney, A Bristish citizen and a member of the
UNITED NATIONS & IMF COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE
currently working with IMF in the Nigeria and I contacted
him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is
contacting us through emails are fake. Attorney Christopher
Ortiz personally directed me on how to claim my Inheritance
or Lottery payment.
Right now I have received my compensation funds of
$1,500,000.00 Moreover, Attorney Alfred Morris, showed me
the full information of those that are yet to receive their
Inheritance or Lottery payment and I saw your name as one of
the beneficiaries, and your email address, that is why I
decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they
are not with your fund, they are only making money out of
I will personally advise you to contact Attorney Christopher
Ortiz, he will assist you as he is a very religious man
with the fear of God.
Compensation Award Office.
Name: Attorney Sir Christopher Ortiz
Listed below are the name of fraudsters and banks behind the
non release of your funds that I managed to sneak out for
your kind perusal.
1) Mr. James B. Comey Jr
2) Robert S. Mueller, III
3) Mr Ban Ki-moon
4) Ms. Carman L. Lapointe
5) Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde
6) Mr. Dan Rochas (I.M.F)
7) Mr Jim Ovia: Zenith Bank Plc In Nigeria
8) Dr Godwin Emefiele
9) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
10) Mr Frank W.
11) Micheal Edward
12) Miss Donna Gwen
13) Mrs. Sherry Williams
14) Mr Wilson Norman
15) Ms Becky Donald
16) Mrs. Rachael Adams
17) Mr. Wood Gates
18) Mr. Mark Ruben
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are
contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them,
it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking
advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have
nothing. The only money I paid after I met Attorney Christopher
Ortiz was just $245 for the Endorsement Fee, take note of
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Ms Carolyn Smith
1124 E 114th St, Cleveland,
Ohio, 44108, United States