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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Agent Austin Miller" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:32:26 -0700
Subject: FBI Message
Federal Bureau of Investigation
#935 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington,
DC 20535, USA.
My name is Agent Austin Miller, I have actually been authorized by United Nation secretary general, and the governing body of the UNITED NATIONS Monetary Unit, to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment, recommended and approved in your favor. During the course of my investigation, I discovered with dismay that your Inheritance/Contract compensation payment US$10,000,000.00 [Ten Million United State Dollars] has been unnecessarily Delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank who are trying to frustrate your life and divert your funds into their private accounts.
After my investigation/verification, you have been warned by Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] and United Nations [UN] to stop all communication with any office, Bank or individuals or risk to be arrested.
In view of the above you're to contact and communicate only with me if you honestly/willing to receive your long awaited payment ASAP. Immediately I hear from you I shall personally inform you of the legitimate Bank for immediate transfer of your fund and I will take it as a duty to supervise this transaction as instructed by United Nations and FBI.
I look forward to hear form you.
Agent Austin Miller
FBI/UN intelligent Unit.