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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 11:02:09 -0700
Subject: Read and get back to me
FROM THE DESK OF:
BRANCH MANAGING DIRECTOR
ZENITH BANK PLC.
Attention: The Approved Fund Owner,
I am Alex Dumisini Branch Managing Director Zenith Bank plc. I write to notify you that you are among the last recipient to be paid in the last quarter and also to inquire from you if you did authorized one Mrs.Maria Davis to claim your inheritance/contract sum fund of $10.5Usd on your behalf because of your been incapacitated?
Mrs. Maria Davis of this address 10079 Elizabeth st.Thornton,Colorado 80229,USA with account information as thus, BANK ATLANTIC,ABANO:2677083763,ACCO UNT NO: 0067989234, CITY, STATE,ZIP: MIAMI FL93161, wants to claim your fund saying you did instruct her as your relation, there is no way we can perform the transfer without verifying from you if actually you did authorize her as she claim?.
Please Confirm to be true or false immediately/Call me on phone Via (+234 814-733-5610) immediately or get back to me.
Mr Alex Dumisini
Branch Managing Director
Zenith Bank Plc.