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:
- 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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Bierman Phillip" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2018 10:26:31 -0700
Subject: PAYMENT AND TRANSFERS
DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL
PAYMENT AND TRANSFERS.
WIRE TRANSFER / AUDIT UNIT
DIRECTOR: WORLD FUND DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT BUREAU.
This letter is from the United Nation World Fund Discovery Management
and Payment Bureau newly established by the World Financial Service
Authority in collaboration with the United States of America /United
Kingdom patriot act Jointly
signed.This body was set up to discover an unpaid funds being owed to
Governments or Individuals all over the world through
Payment,Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prize Awards. Contract It will
interest you to know that we have discovered an unpaid unclaimed sum
of money in favor of your name in Africa Precisely
/ Nigeria Benin Republic or South-Africa valued and a mandate has
been given to this body World Fund Discovery Management and Payment
Bureau to ensure that this fund gets to you without delay. Our DUTY
is to verify and get clean report for the payment Note that a special
payment arrangement has been made to remit this fund to you through a
after scrutinizing the file and admit same as genuinely acquired
fund.You are advised to furnish this office with your information to
enable us open up communication with you regarding the release of your
Fund immediately.Our team officials will as well inform you how and
when your fund shall be released even the the name of the Bank or
Person to carry out your payment.
We want you to understand the URGENCY of this
matter by filling as stated below so as to enable us finalize your
payment immediately and submit your PAYMENT FILE to the Authorities
before our DEPARTURE.This is very essential in order to avoid having
further COMMUNICATION or DEALINGS with world FRAUDSTERS always telling
lies to cheat people through INTERNET.Respond ASAP for more details. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Your Full Name
Your Complete Address
Name of City of Residence:
Date of Birth (Day / Month / Year):
Next of Kin:
Bierman Phillip head of the Team.