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 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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.John Mbah " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2020 10:15:33 +0100
Subject: Attn: Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that a compensation payment in the amount of
US$20,000,000.00, (twenty Million United State Dollars) was legally
approved and deposited few days ago with our Bank, First Bank Head
Office Address. Samuel Asabia House 35 Marina P.O. Box 5216, Lagos,
Nigeria, and it was deposited in your name by the foreign debts
settlement/compensation committee of the Executive Directors Of World
Bank Group in conjunction with the European Union Board Of Directors,
and they instructed us to credit this fund direct to your private bank
account with immediate effect,
However, Please note that First Bank have decided and agreed together
to send this payment to you by either bank wire transfer or by online
bank transfer services depending the option you would prefer to
receive this fund for security purpose, so you are therefore advised
to quickly get back to the management of this bank and let us know the
option you choose to have your fund credited into your account to
enable us proceed with the claim process of your fund. please contact
them with your details as listed below
Full Name....Home Address..Valid Phone number....Country/State........
Any Of Your Identity Card........
Chairman, And Chief Executive Officer,