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:
- ",500,000" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Edwin Paul Johnson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2020 20:52:38 -0700
Subject: YOUR ATM MASTER CARD CONTAINED $2.5M USD IS READY FOR PICKUP.
With due respect and in accordance to the foregoing business matter
regarding the final release of your approved payment valued at the sum of
I an informing you officially, that your $2,500,000.00 USD payment order by
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card System has been successfully processed
and loaded into an ATM Card and also ready for pickup.
Furthermore, you are requested to forward to the bank your information as
stated below for final and proper verification before you can come over to
pickup your ATM Card containing your fund with the PIN CODE to get access
yo your fund.
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential/Office Address:
(3) Current Phone Number:
(4) Means of Identification(International passport or Valid ID Card)
(5) Country of Origin.
We await to hearing from you for the next action.
Mr. Edwin Paul Johnson
FOREIGN RESERVE ACCOUNTS MANAGER.