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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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 advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "SIR. COLLIN JORENIN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2019 16:07:46 +0100
Subject: GET BACK TO US NOW VERY URGENT
GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH, WORLD BANK,
UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION OFFICIAL APPROVAL PAYMENT VALUED $7.5 MILLION
The British Prime Minister in conjunction with GOVERNMENT OF UNITED
STATES, WORLD BANK, UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION, EUROPEAN UNION do
hereby give this irrevocable approval order with Release Code:
GNC/3480/0112/19 in your favor for your inheritance and lottery award
winning prize with the UNITED NATIONS to your nominated bank account.
Therefore, your new Payment code's are, United Nations Approval No;
UN5685P, White House Approved No: WH44CV, Reference No.135460021,
Allocation No: 674632 Password No:339331, Pin Code No: 55674 and your
Certificate of Merit Payment No: 103, Released Code No: 0763; Immediate
WFNB Tele-banking Confirmation No: 21121; Secret Code No: XXTN013. Now
having received these vital payment numbers, You are qualified now to
received and confirm Your payment with the United Nations immediately
within the next 72hrs.
As a matter of fact, you are required to Deal and Communicate only with
Mr.Timothy Hicks, DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT, Wood
Forest National Bank in Ohio, with the help and monitory team from the
INTERNATIONAL MONITORY FUND (IMF) NEW YORK and UNION BANK OF SWITZERLAND
which is our official remitting reserve bank, has look up to make sure
you receive your fund into your bank account. You are to contact: Mr.
Timothy Hicks on his contact Email: (email@example.com) for
immediate release of your inheritance and lottery award winning claim.
Be informed that you are not allowed to correspond with any person or
offices anymore, you are required to send bellow information to Mr. Mr.
Timothy Hicks to facilitate your approved fund transfer in less than
The payment bank is in United state of America (USA) WOOD FOREST
Information request for your transfer.
1) YOUR FULL NAME:
2) FULL ADDRESS OF YOUR CITY, STATE AND COUNTRY:
3) PHONE, FAX AND MOBILE:
4) COMPANY NAME, POSITION AND ADDRESS:
5) BANK INFORMATIONS:
a) BANK NAME:
b) BANK ADDRESS:
c) ACCOUNT NUMBER:
d) SWIFT CODE
e) ROUTING NUMBER:
F) IBAN NUMBER:
6) PROFESSION, AGE AND MARITAL STATUS:
7) A COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE
Note: Your personal contact/communication code with wood forest national
Bank is (WF-21121), you are advice to send your bank Information to the
CONTACT CODE (WF-21121)
contact Person: Mr. Timothy Hicks.
Position: Director International Remittance Department
Email Address: ........................
CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AWARD WINING PAYMENT
UNITED NATIONS AND EUROPEAN UNION.
SIR. COLLIN JORENIN