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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- ",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: MRS GLORIA MULHERN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 06 Nov 2015 15:47:46 +0000
We wish to congratulate and inform you that after thorough review of all
unclaimed funds in conjunction with the United Nations and European Union,
your payment file was forwarded to our office for the immediate transfer of
US$3,500,000.00 compensation to your bank account.
The audit report given to us shows that you have been going through hard
times by paying a lot of money to certain group of individuals and banks
for the transfer of your funds.
We therefore advice that you stop further communication with any
correspondence outside this office since you do not have to pay any money
or fee to receive your funds as you have met up with the whole funds
If you will follow our directives, your fund of US$3,500,000.00
compensation will be credited in your bank account by telegraphic transfer
within three (3) working days and copies of the funds transfer documents
will be sent to you and your bankers for confirmation.
For the immediate transfer of the US$3,500,000.00 to your bank account,
kindly reply back with your FULL NAME AND TELEPHONE number(s) today by
email for further details on this funds transfer schedule.
Once again Congratulations.
Mrs. Gloria Mulhern
United Nations Commission
This transmission may contain information that is privileged, confidential
and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the
intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying,
distribution,or use of the information contained herein (including any
reliance thereon) is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you received this transmission
in error, please immediately contact the sender.