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:
- "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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: "U.N Sec" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2019 04:48:59 -0700
Subject: Attn Beneficiary To Indemnify You!
You may not understand why this mail came to you. I am AntÃ³nio Guterres
the General secretary to the UNITED NATIONS since 1 January
2017. We have been having a meeting for the passed 3 weeks which
ended 2 days ago .
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of
the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the
sum of US$5.5000,000.00 This includes every foreign contractors that
may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an
unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to
Government problems etc.
We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting
you,these have been agreed upon and have been signed. Therefore, we
are happy to inform you that an arrangement has perfectly been
concluded to effect your payment as soon as possible in our bid to be
However, it is our pleasure to inform you that your ATM Card Number;
5490 9957 6302 4525 has been approved and upgraded in your favor.
Meanwhile, your Secret Pin Number will be available as soon as you
confirm to us the receipt of your ATM CARD.
The ATM Card Value is US$5.5000,000.00 Only. You are advised that a
maximum withdrawal value of US$10,000.00 is permitted daily. And we
are duly inter-switched and you can make withdrawal in any location of
the ATM Center of your choice/nearest to you any where in the world.
We have also concluded delivery arrangement with our accredited
courier service Company to oversee the delivery of the ATM Card to you
without any further delay or any means through which you love to get
your fund. So you are hereby advice to forward YOUR DETAILS
INFORMATION to this office in charge of your fund. you should send her
your full Name and telephone number/your correct mailing address where
you want him to send you your fund.
Contact: Dr.Eric Uba
Ass.Managing Director/CEO Zenith Bank Plc
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as
soon as you receive your fund. Making the world a better place.