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:
- "west africa fund monitoring unit" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?B?TXLCoFdhcnJlbsKgRS7CoEJ1ZmZldHTCoEJpbGxpb25haXJlwqBpbnZlc3Rvcg==?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 09:58:52 +0100
Subject: ATM card worth US$4.5, 000.000.00
i am really sorry for not remembering your email correctly and i have
sent several email to you but it did not get to you successful
therefore i write to you again. i am contacting you concerning the
release of your inheritance fund which have been delayed for transfer
by some officials ,
Your Fund has finally been approved for transfer by the West Africa
Fund Monitoring Unit. Your fund will be transfer to you via MasterCard
ATM which is cash able in any ATM machine or Bank anywhere in the
i hereby inform you that the ATM card worth US$4.5, 000.000.00 has
been credited in your favor as the first part payment of your
inheritance fund which has been delayed by these officers who claim to
be in position of your fund.
Your fund to be released via MasterCard ATM in act to uphold the rule
of law which we represent.You have to reconfirm the information's
below for security reasons. The only money you are obliged to pay is
the delivery charges only .
Contact the verification officer in charge of the delivery:
Name: Mrs. samantha paynter
E-mail:( email@example.com )
Send them the following information's of yours for the conclusion of
your ATM Card:
God bless you.
Mr Warren E. Buffett Billionaire investor.