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:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: First Bank Nig. Plc<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 21 Dec 2018 15:56:00 -0800
Subject: RE: SWIFT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan
Director Foreign Operation
Department ATM card
First Bank of Nigeria.
RE: SWIFT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT
After extensive close door meeting with board of directors and
other stakeholders in the Government including subcommittees of
the house of Assembly and the House of Rep Federal Republic of
Nigeria. It was resolved and agreed upon that your fund would be
released on a special method off payment, by Tag name Reads Swift
This method of payment is designed by the Government to avert
fraud perpetration or stoppage of fund by some agencies. Either
through Anti Terrorist Certificate or other Certificates. This
Swift Credit Card would be issued to you as soon as you respond
to this email, this Bank has been mandated to take charge of the
issuance of the swift credit card and your payment file should be
passed to my desk for clarification.
Upon certification that your payment file is OK, this office will
direct you on how to receive your over due fund via ATM Swift
Credit Card. But please note that we can not be able to pay you
the full payment due to inadequate fund, we will only pay you the
sum of five Million Dollars ($5,000,000) as part payment, please
bear with us and we promised to make an arrangement for your
remaining payment in five months time in the light of this
aforementioned, your are required to furnish this office with the
Your Full Name:
Next of Kin Name:
Date of Birth:
Your Telephone number:
The card would be issued in your favor, and all your information
will be inserted into the card. Upon completion of this issuance
of the credit card, it will be send to you together with the
access PIN Number via Courier to your residential address. Do
reply to the below email address (email@example.com) as we
proceed with your payment immediately.
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan
First Bank Nig. Ltd.