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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "into 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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Frank Anthony <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2019 18:25:07 +0100
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT
106 New Jersey Avenue,
Absecon, New Jersey NJ 8201
After our meeting few days ago with the President Federal Republic of
Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the senate President, Senator
Bukola Saraki, the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the
Federal Executive councils, It was Resolved and Agreed upon that your
Funds of $10.5M (Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars). Will be released to you on a special method of payment Such
as: Bank to Bank Wire Transfer or ATM card delivery.
However, you would be required to fill the transfer form and provide
to us all the necessary information stipulated on the form below and
return back to us immediately to enable us proceed with the transfer
of your inheritance fund into your nominated bank account without any
( 1 ) Name of your bank,
( 2 ) Address of your bank:
( 3 ) Bank telephone numbers:
( 4 ) Account numbers:
( 5 ) Account Holders Name:,
( 6 ) Your Phone Number:
( 7 ) Swift Code:
( 8 ) Bank routing numbers:
( 9 ) House Address
However, be informed that this development is real and nothing
contrary hence you cannot be disappointed because it is not a business
as usual. There is a committee set-up by the U.S government in power
to monitor this arrangement to make sure that all beneficiaries dully
receive their money and that is why your name came up for this
therefore you are assured of a good result this time. Waiting to read
Mr. Frank Anthony
Banking & Chief Cashier