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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: HSBC BANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 14:59:21 -0700
Subject: Greeting Dear Beneficiary,
Today at 2.39 pm,
Ref.: Transfer Payment Approval Notice.
Approved Payment Valued: US$19,800,000.00.
Payment Reference No.: HSBC/LHO-BOE/XXCL3002/20.
We write to inform you officially that we have received and confirmed
a transfer authorization instruction from United Nations Funds
Investigation Unit in your favor valued at US19,800,000.00 (Nineteen
Million Eight Hundred Thousand US Dollars Only). Please note that this
approved long awaited Contract/Inheritance payment Instruction has
been verified by our Legal Department through the rightful Authorities
for a smooth Credit to your Bank account via Swift Telegraphic Wire
Transfer or ATM card respectively.
As the Chief Financial Officer, HSBC Bank (NEW YORK) I write to inform
you that the above amount is ready to be released to you.Kindly
reconfirm your full name, address and telephone number
to this email.
Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.
Awaiting your response.
Mr. Noel Quinn
Tel: +1 315 260 0270