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:
- "clearance fee" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Abigail Woodward," <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 21:31:18 +0100
Subject: TRUTH ABOUT YOUR UNCLIAMED FUNDS
Good day, I am Mrs Abigail Woodward, a US citizen, Am 42 years old. I am on=
e of those people that took part in receiving Inheritance funds and Lottery=
funds from European banks even from many lottery organizers few years ago =
and they refused to pay me, I had paid different fees while in the United S=
tates trying to get my funds from those banks and lottery organizers but al=
l to no avail. So I decided to travel to West Africa (Nigeria) with all my =
compensation documents, and I was directed by the IMF Director to contact o=
ne Rev Patrick Fisher who is the head department officer of the Compensatio=
n Award Office, Rev. Patrick Fisher his British citizen and a member of the=
UNITED NATIONS & IMF COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE currently working with I=
MF and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever i=
s contacting us through emails are fake. Rev. Patrick Fisher personally dir=
ected me on how to claim my Inheritance or Lottery payment. Right now I hav=
e received my compensation funds of $2,800,000.00 Moreover, Rev. Patrick Fi=
sher is a very religious man with the fear of God. He showed me the full in=
formation of those that are yet to receive their Inheritance or Lottery pay=
ment and I saw your name as one of the beneficiaries, and your email addres=
s, that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, th=
ey are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will pe=
rsonally advise you to contact Rev. Patrick Fisher with your FULL NAME, FUL=
L ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, OCCUPATION, AGE, SEX, he will assist you once =
he get the listed information you are to provide. Compensation Award Office=
. Name: Rev. Patrick Fisher Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Yo=
u really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and=
telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, th=
ey are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have=
nothing. NOTE: The only money I paid after I met Rev. Patrick Fisher was j=
ust $525 USD for the Endorsement and clearance fee, take note of that. Than=
k You and Be Blessed. Mrs Abigail Woodward, 13, Fairview Avenue, Somerville=
, New Jersey 08876, united states.=20