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:
- "million us 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)
- 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: "Mr. Todd M. Harper " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 07:16:43 -0800
Subject: Dear Customer
National Credit Union CREDIT Transaction Notification
This Message is from the National Credit Union Alexandria, Virginia,
United States, And am contacting you about your funds of $10.7 Million
Us Dollars deposited to the United Bank For Africa Plc to transferred
the funds to you as Your compensation for Scam Victim because your
name and your phone number was listed among the Victims that was
scammed years ago by West Africa Countries and now you are to be
compensated with the sum of $10.7 Million Us Dollars, Therefore you
have to reconfirm your information to them via email such as follows;
Your Full Name:
Your Home Address:
Your Tell Number:
Your Whatsap Nnumber:
Don't Forget To Reply This Email Onlyâ: email@example.com
And after reconfirming your personal information to Them, Kindly let
them know the best way that you wish to have your funds of $10.7
Million Us Dollars to you either the funds will be transferred in your
bank account or the funds will be converted to an ATM MASTER CARD and
it will be delivered to your home address or the funds will be
delivered to you in Cash.
If You receive this message in spam, kindly know that it is a network problem.
Mr. Todd M. Harper
National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314