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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "million united state 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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- be able to receive your letter, email me with one, (email@example.com) contact me directly with this email address and my cell (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Director, International Police Force Unity Nigeria Department" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2021 10:59:23 +0100
Subject: Fast reply needed
This is to bring to your notice that your inheritance funds worth $8.3
million united state dollars has successfully released to all
beneficiaries all over the world and your name was included and it
will deliver to you through bank check draft in your home address so
that you make a withdrawal, but it has come to our notice that you
have being sending money to those impostors in the world all in the
name of your inheritance funds worth $8.3 million united states
dollars only, and you are instructed by the international police force
unity Nigeria to stop communicating with anybody because your funds is
here in police force unity department Nigeria and because of the
impostors and fraudters going on in the world through internet
business so we decided to keep it safety to avoid problem
Furthermore you are instructed by the international police force unity
department Nigeria to stop communicating with anybody so that you will
not be deceive, if you fail to follow my instruction i promise you
that you will not receive your funds if you keep sending money to
those impostors save my email address and my phone number
+2348034223488 one day you will realise that am telling you nothing
but truth be warned and be careful, bear in mind that before your bank
check draft will deliver to your home address that you have to pay
$191 dollars only for insurance and UPS delivery company charges fee
to enable your bank check deliver to you so that you start making use
of your money as programmed
Receivers name: Nwoke Emmanuel
Address: No 14 Chief mike street Ajao Estate Lagos, Nigeria
Please reconfirm your address to avoid wrong delivery over this
transaction succh as below to enable us proceed as we have concluded,
i will not email you twice because a word is enough for a wise confirm
Please email me with my direct office email address so that i will
confirm your message to avoid mistake over payment and for me to be
able to receive your letter, email me with one,
Contact me directly with this email address and my cell phone number,
Your full name
Your direct cell phone number and mobile number
Your nearest airport
Your home address
Your working ID for identification
Your full banking information
If you know that you will not comply with the little fee please kindly
step outside because i don't want anything that will damage my
position here, and if you keep thinking about the past it will not
make your tomorrow better for you, can we receive an assurance letter
from you, then we can proceed immediately with the final dispatch of
your inheritance funds as we have concluded, note that your
inheritance funds was originated here no place again bewared before
you make a big mistake in your whole life?
Finally you are advise to email me immediately you receive this
important message so that we can proceed as we have concluded on your
payment you can call me or text me message at +2348034223488
Mr. Ibrahim Magu Director, International Police Force Unity
Yours in service