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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Annette Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2018 19:19:01 -0000
Subject: YOUR UNPAID FUNDS
I am Mrs. Annette Clark, from the United Nations Regional office, Ghana. I
wish to inform you that we have actually decided to investigate the
unnecessary delay of
your payment recommended and approved claims for payment is certified as
genuine in your favor.
We have also agreed with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
(IMF) that, we will handle this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless
situation created by
these corrupt Officials. We have obtained Payment Order for your Payment,
from the World Bank and International Monetary Funds (IMF). We are happy
to notify you that
based on our recommendation/instructions; the payment of US$ 10.000.000
(TEN MILLION DOLLARS) will be released to you.
You are to contact this office immediately for clarifications on this
matter as we shall be available 24 hrs to speak with you and give you the
necessary guidelines on
how to ensure that your payment is wired to you immediately and also be
informed that any further delay from your side could be dangerous, as we
will not be held
responsible for any wrong payment.
You are advise to contact Dr. Nicholas Carter immediately for the delivery
of your funds.
Contact Person: Dr. Nicholas Carter
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Mobile: +233238370648
Waiting to hear from you as soon as you receive this e-mail.
Mrs. Annette Clark