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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "abuja" (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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: THE PRESIDENCY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 08:11:34 +0100
Subject: TRANSFER ADVICE
* <http://gallery.myff.org/gallery/252425/Nigerian+Flag.jpg> OFFICE OF THE
PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ASO ROCK VILLA FEDERAL CAPITAL
TERRITORY ABUJA NIGERIA Direct Tel: +234 708 644 9077 *
* Dear Beneficiary, *
*I write to let you know that the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria
have stopped all the Nigeria Banks from participating in the payment of
Foreign Beneficiaries including you. The Beneficiaries complained that the
Nigeria Banks are delaying their payment and also extorting money from
them. Upon this complaint, the Government of Nigeria have appointed our
offshore bank in the United States, the SunTrust Bank to pay all the
beneficiaries including your payment. You should contact the President of
the SunTrust Bank with the below information for your immediate payment:
Name: Mr. William H. Rogers Jr. Position: Chairman, President and Chief
Executive Officer of SunTrust Banks Address: SUNTRUST BANK 303 Peachtreet
St, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30308 United States TEL: (800) 786-8787 Email:
You are entitled to receive the sum of $15,000,000.00(Fifteen Million
United States Dollars) as your inheritance funds. You should confirm your
Full Names, Address, Telephone Number and Bank information to the bank
which will be needed for your funds transfer. You should let me know once
you contact the bank and also once you receive your payment. Your immediate
response will facilitate your early payment.*
*Regards, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCON GCFR President, Federal Republic