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:
- "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: "Mr Johnson Douglas" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2019 08:53:08 +0100
Subject: loyal Claimant on the fund
This might seem very deplorable for a person that you do not know but
as the title implies. I am an accountant by profession. I'm sorry to
intrude your privacy, but the circumstances on ground leave me with no
choice than to request your loyal Claimant on the fund mapped out for
all the scam victims.
This is officially to notify you that We have received a payment
credit instruction from the Central Bank of Nigeria/World Bank Swiss
to credit your account with your full unpaid contract, inheritance
compensation , and lotto winning fund of (US$1.5M).
Your name was among those that were scammed as shortlisted by the
Africa Financial Intelligent Unit (AFIU), Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) on fraud victims. Compensation has been issued out
on Certified Bank Visa ATM card worth $1,500.000 USD to all the
affected victims and has been already in distribution to the
Your Bank ATM Visa Card was among those that were reported undelivered
as at last Eight Months ago, and we wish to advise you to stick to the
instructions and make sure you receive your fund immediately after
We have full access/confidential bank official arrangements to these
bank accounts as we cannot disclose names of the transferring/ card
issuing banks now until you demonstrate acceptance to this loyal
partnership as confident Claimant.
We shall need an account to be use in depositing/disburse the money
for your compensation fund (Bank Transfers/Bank Drafts) / Skimmed ATM
CARD received from any of the bank will be ship to your house address.
Here are the requested information for proceed.
1. Your Full Name.
2. Your Mailing / Contact address.
3. Your Telephone Numbers.
4. Copy of your Passport, or Identity card.
On your positive response, I will give you confidential number which
we shall use to execute this transaction.
Best regards and God Bless,
Mr Johnson Douglas