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.
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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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "David Ben" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2021 09:48:17 +0300
Subject: PAYMENT INSTRUCTION:,
I am Mr. David Ben, the Chairman Debt Management Office (DMO), I have been directed by the Board of Directors to compensate all the Sixteen (16) people listed that were scammed or lost their money to some Corrupt Officials.
I write to inform you that you are number (2) two out of the (16) Sixteen people listed for compensation of $2,000,000.00 each and you will be paid through Standard Trust Bank London this second quarter of the year 2021.
The good news now is that your compensation payment of $2,000,000.00 is approved and ready for transfer, you will transfer your funds to your receiving bank account by yourself through Standard Trust Bank Online Transfer and it will reflect in your bank account in the next 24hours.
You are strongly advised to forward the required items stated below to this office.
(1) Your Full Name:
(3) Your Direct Phone Number:
(4) Copy of your Passport Photograph:
To enable me instruct the paying bank to open your online account and they will forward to you your Login Password and Pin Code to enable you access your account and transfer your compensation payment to your receiving bank account anywhere in the world the same day.
Await your urgent reply.
Mr. David Ben
Chairman, Debt Management Office (DMO)