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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. PAUL ROBERTSON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 18:23:10 -0700
Subject: PLEASE CAN YOU READ YOUR MESSAGE AND GET BACK TO ME
*Attention Dear ,Your ATM Master card No 55** ***9 ***3 ***1 valued $1.7
Million US Dollars issued by Halifax Gold Bank is now ready for
retrieval.Kindly, contact Mrs. Margaretha Aichner via email :
email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>, with your
Address, phone # and ID to arrange pick up / delivery soon.Nevertheless, be
informed it is your responsibility to pay for the shipment of the master
card to your designated address if you can't come over in person to pick it
up.Failure to contact or conclude pick up and delivery of your Master card
within 72 hrs of this announcement, you are liable to a fine of $200 or the
let out of your cash card will be suspended indefinitely.We look forward to
your positive reaction upon receipt of this email urgently.Please, be
guided .Congratulations to you !Best regards,Mr. Paul Robertson.Public
Relation Officer,Scam Victims & Covid - 19 Restitution Liquidation Center
(SVC19RLC),Overseas Development Institute in Partnership with World Bank,