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 us 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)
- ",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)
- "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. Karen White" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:29:40 +0700
Subject: Re: Redeem your payment.
We the Standard Chartered Bank of 1 Basinghall Ave, London EC2V 5DD, UK with all our bank rights would be interested in helping you to redeem your long awaited contract fund of US$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) with Payment Reference No. NIGCBN/USBOA/24/USD, Allocation No: 67487632 from West Africa sub region.
One of Standard Chartered Bank accredited lawyer is already working with Bank of Africa and Central Bank of Nigeria and has been able to help two beneficiary. We would only be able to help you if you legally given us the rights and empower us to do so.
Before we will be able to legally take up your claim we must tender a legal document to the appropriate bank holding your payment. If you want our assistance in this matter kindly reply with your full information.
At your services
Mrs. Karen White
Standard Chartered Bank
1 Basinghall Ave, London EC2V 5DD, UK