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:
- "required fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "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)
- "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)
- ",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)
- ",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.
- 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: Vivian Douglas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2021 15:21:10 +0100
Subject: THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER.
We write in regards to your delayed Contract/Inheritance Funds in the
sum of Eight Million ,Five Hundred United States Dollars
(US$8,500,000.00) which you are yet to receive as a result of your
inability to raise the required fee to conclude your Transaction.
The United Nations has decided to prefer a solution that will make it
easier for all the Beneficiaries to receive their Funds.We understood
that some Fees are required in order process and Transfer of your
Funds into your Account. We are also aware that most Beneficiaries do
not have these required fees. We have therefore deliberated with the
Bank in charge of this payment to allow Beneficiaries the privilege of
receiving their Funds in two (2) or three (3) installments. In this
case, Beneficiaries will no longer be required to pay the fee at once
but part of it depending on the number of installments such
Beneficiary will like his/her Funds to be released to him/her.Write
the Bank and request that you want your fund to be transferred to your
account by installments payment, so that once the first payments
enters into your account you can then use money from there to
facilitate the transfer of the remaining balance, once the first
installments enters into your account that
The CITIBANK which is now in charge of your Payment has agreed to give
the Beneficiaries the option of receiving their Funds at once, in two
or three installments.This will help the beneficiaries to pay part of
the fee and receive part of their Funds with which such beneficiary
can upset the remaining fee and receive his/her complete Funds. To
break this down:Five Hundred Dollars ($500) fee will facilitate the
release of One Million United States Dollars (US$1,000,000.00) only.
one Hundred Dollars ($1000) fee will facilitate the release of Two
Million United States Dollars (US$2,000,000.00) only.two Thousand, Six
Hundred Dollars ($2,600) fee which is the total fee will facilitate
the release of your Full Contract/inheritance Funds in the sum of
Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars
However, Feel free to inform us how much you can raise. should you or
cannot afford any of the above Mentioned installment so as for us to
talk to the Bank to know how much out of your Funds they could release
to you with the amount you can come up with.This is the best the
United Nations can do for you and you are advised to take advantage of
Kindly forward your banking co-ordinates/telephone/International
passport/home address to Mrs. Vivian Douglas,at the CITIBANK OF
NIGERIA.to indicate your preferred option.
She could be reached at:
NOTE: Do not be shy to indicate the amount you have in hands (no
proper-amount is so small to trigger installments-payment base on our
discussion with the CITIBank) so that the first payment will move into
your account for you to comfirm the existence of the fund before your
proceed for the balance.
Thank You once again.
(UN) SECRETARY GENERAL