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:
- "transferred into your 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 united states 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Arlester Smith" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:37:36 +0100
Subject: Hello Friend
From the Management of:
REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF US$17,000,000.00.
This is to notify you about this said fund.
This bank has an instruction to see to the immediate release of the sum of
US$17,000,000.00(Seventeen Million United States Dollars Only). of your
Inheritance fund claim that has been holding since is transferred into
your bank Account from their Domiciliary Account with this Bank.
We were meant to understand from our findings that you have been going
through hard ways by passing through difficulties to see to the release of
your Seventeen Million United States Dollars Only($17,000,000.00), which
has been the handwork of some miscreant elements from that Country.
We advice that you stop further communication with any correspondence from
anywhere concerning your funds, because you don't have to pass through any
difficult to receive your fund, as you have meet up with the whole
We know that your representatives anywhere will advice you
to still go ahead with them, which will be at your own risk.
Your Seventeen Million United States Dollars Only($17,000,000.00) will
reflect into your designated Bank Account within three (3) Bank working
days from the day you start the process of obtaining your funds.
We also advice you not to go through anybody again but only through this
Bank if you really want your fund.
Your Full Name:...........
Your immediate response is highly needed to enable us commence for the
Sorry if you receive this letter in your spam,Due to recent connection
error here in England
Thanks and God bless you.
Head Private Banking Section