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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "MICHAEL MORGAN" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 16:10:11 +0100
Subject: RE-CONFIRM THE FOLLOWING. 15
FROM THE DESK OF:MR.MICHEAL MORGAN.
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
YOUR INHERITANCE FUNDS OF $15.5MUSD THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR OVER
DUE INHERITANCE FUNDS HAS BEEN GAZETTED TO BE RELEASED,VIA KEY TELEX
TRANSFER (KTT)-DIRECT WIRE TRANSFER TO YOU BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE FOR
FOREIGN OVER DUE FUND TRANSFER.
MEANWHILE,A WOMAN CAME TO MY OFFICE FEW DAYS AGO WITH A LETTER, CLAIMING
TO BE YOUR TRUE REPRESENTATIVE.
HERE ARE HER INFORMATION:
NAME JANET WHITE
BANK NAME: CITI BANK,YORK.
ACCOUNT Number: 6503809428.
PLEASE,DO RECONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE ,AS A MATTER OF URGENCY IF THIS WOMAN
IS FROM YOU SO THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BEHELD RESPONSIBLE
FOR PAYING INTO THE WRONG ACCOUNT NAME.
THE RESERVE BANK GOVERNOR,EXECUTIVE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE SENATE
COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE INHERITANCE FUND HAVE APPROVED AND
ACCREDITED THIS REPUTABLE BANK WITH THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR,INTERNATIONAL
REMITTANCE/ FOREIGN OPERATIONS,TO HANDLE AND TRANSFER ALL FOREIGN
INHERITANCE FUNDS THIS FIRST QUARTER PAYMENT OF THE YEAR.
HOWEVER,WE SHALL PROCEED TO ISSUE ALL PAYMENTS DETAILS TO THE SAID
MRS.WHITE,IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU WITHIN THE NEXT SEVEN WORKING DAYS
RE-CONFIRM THE FOLLOWING.
Your Full Name.......................... .
Your Sex........................... ........
Your Age........................... .....
Your Country....................... .........
Passport / Driving License......
Your Occupation.................... ........
Your Personal Mobile Number....................
Your Personal Fax Number..................
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
Please Reply to (firstname.lastname@example.org)