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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "James Dudley" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 14 May 2016 11:32:52 -0400
Subject: REVOCATION OF AGENCY RIGHT
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR ACCRUED INTEREST FUNDS
I am pleased to inform you that your accrued interest valued at
US$1,750,000.00 [One million seven hundred and fifty thousand United
States Dollars], has been approved for immediate release in your
The Presidential Payment Advisory Board directed this office to
release the accrued interest funds in your favor as a way of
alleviating the hardship you have been facing due to the government's
inability to release your principal sum.
Consequently, you are hereby advised to contact this office with your
personal details to facilitate this payment process, as this office has been directed to release this amount to you within the shortest
James A. Dudley Jr.
Director,Foreign Payment Disbursement Office
World Bank Auditors,North America Regional office