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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS EVELYN COKER & DR MICHAEL COLLINS" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2015 06:17:43 +0800
Subject: TRANSFER OF $20.5M DOLLARS.....Reply
I am Mrs. Evelyn Coker Director of Foreign Remittance Department World Bank Group Nigeria. I am here in to inform you that your US$20.5M (Twenty Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) is ready to transfer into your bank account immediately you reconfirm your full details to us.
Your file appears in my desk two days ago Through IMF office and Central Bank of Nigeria, that you are among people approved to be paid through World Bank Group that is the reason why we contact you.
We are here to assist you financially if you are thoroughly interested to claim your fund then you have contact us with your full information listed below.
1) Your full name.
2) Contact Address
3) Phone, fax and mobile #.
6) Your bank details
Mrs. Evelyn Coker/Dr. Michael Collins
World Bank Auditors
Director Foreign Remittance Department/Special Duties
Office Hot Line +234-12952920 or Mobile Number +234-8144129086