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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "U.S Department of State" <"WWW."@axel.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "U.S Department of State" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 02:11:28 +0900 (JST)
Subject: U.S Department of State
U.S Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520.
Contact phone number +1 1636867846
Your ATM Visa Card Will Be Shipped Through USPS To Your Address
I am Mr. John Forbes Kerry, United States Secretary of State by
profession. This is to inform you officially that after our
investigations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other Security Agencies
in the Country for the year ended 2016, we discovered that you have
not receive your fund.
I have made it my first point of call since taking office to settle
all Outstanding Payments accrued to Individuals or
Corporations with respect to local and overseas contract payment, Debt
Rescheduling and Outstanding Compensation payment.
This is to make sure all Outstanding payments are settled beginning of
this fiscal year 2016. On Behalf of the entire staff
of the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations in
collaboration with World Bank, we apologize for the delay of your
contract payment, Winning or Inheritance funds from most of African
Countries and all the inconveniences you encountered
while pursuing this payment.
However, from the records of outstanding beneficiaries due for payment
with the U.S Secretary of State, your name was
discovered as next on the list of the outstanding payment who has not
yet received their payments.
Note that from the record in my file, your outstanding contract
payment is $40, 800,000.00 (Fourty Million Eight Hundred
Thousand Dollars) loaded in an ATM Visa Card that allows you to make a
daily maximum withdrawal limit of $5,000 Five
I have your file here in my office and it says that you are yet to
receive your fund valued at $40,800,000.00 (Fourty
Million Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars). This Funds will now be
delivered to your designated address or your preferred
We have perfected all modules on how to bring this fund to your house
without any problem, but be aware that United Nations
and the United States Government has only authorized my office to
release the Sum of $40,800,000.00 to you as true
beneficiary of the Fund.
Note that your loaded ATM Visa Card will be mailed to you through
Priority Mail Express (USPS) to your designated address
immediately you admit full compliance to this email. You are advised
to kindly reply this email with the below details
enclosed to help ensure safe mailing of your ATM Visa Card:
Your Full Name:
Your Contact House Address:
Name of City of Residence:
Country of Residence:
Direct Mobile Telephone Number:
ID Card, DL or Passport Copy:
Age and Occupation:
NOTE: Every documentation proof for your fund have been packaged and
seal to be mailed together with your Visa Card to your
address. Therefore, the only obligation required of you by the laws of
the Government of United States and the financial
Monetary Policy of the Supreme Court, states that; you as a
beneficiary must officially obtain the irrevocable LEGAL STAY OF
PROCEED from the Supreme Court of USA, as a means to justify the
legitimacy, transparency and clean bill of funds from USA so
that by the time your funds gets to you, no authority will question
the funds as it has been legally certified free from all
financial Malpractices and facets. The LEGAL STAY OF PROCEED is valued
at a cost of just ($570USD) The fee
payment can be
made bank to bank Transfer here in the USA:
THIS IS THE INFORMATION WHRER TO SEND THE FEE
Receiver Name: Michael E Restivo
City: West Palm Beach
QUESTION:. . . . . .URGENT
ANSWER:. . . . . . .TODAY
After you make the payment, then kindly fill the below details or
attach to us the payment slip:
Sender current cell phone:
As soon as the above mentioned details are received, The LEGAL STAY OF
PROCEED will be secured on your behalf immediately. I
need all the compliance that I can get from you to ensure we get this
project accomplished. Personally, I am very sorry for
the delay you have gone through in the past years. Thanks for adhering
to this instructions which are meant for your sole
benefit, once again accept my congratulations in advance.
Thanks for your cooperation as your quick response to this email
notice with adherence to the above instructions is highly anticipated.
Mr.John Forbes Kerry
U.S Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520.
Contact phone number +1 2028524817