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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Usman Bello" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2020 17:34:44 +0100
Subject: Re: Hello Beneficiary / TREAT AS URGENT..
This is to acquaint you on the outcome of our 3 days meeting with U.N International Financial Investigation Unit and the Association of Better Business Bureau to compensate scam victims upon due verification and Approval. We have jointly approved US$1,000,000,00 (One Million Dollars Only) for every confirmed victim. Your E-mail address was generated through the computer ballot system as one of the selected victim to receive this compensation.
However, adequate arrangement has been put in place for you to reclaim your fund and also for your fund to be dole out to you through Online Wire Deposit or by issuing an ATM Card to you which would be courier to your mailing address through our accredited courier company.
Finally; for the purpose of proper verification of your claims, it is imperative that you furnish us with the following of your details necessary to process release/remittance of your payment:
Your Full Name(s):
Your Cell Number:
You are expected to Reply to this email with the above requested information:
NOTE: You are also requested to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any hitch in receiving your payment as Scheduled,
Dr. Usman Bello,
Head of Communications