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:
- "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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: SANDRA WALDRIP <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2021 09:52:11 +0100
Subject: GET BACK
We Which to let you know that ,after our annul meting healed in West
Africa Through United Nation Instructions to EFCC Nigeria it has come
to our notice that a total amount of $2.5 Million United States
Dollars is been rooming in your name through our Delegate in Bank of
Africa Benin Republic, These said Funds is as result of an
inheritance Funds through your Grand Father as we can see through your
Data Base from Chambers of Commerce Benin Republic Report,
Now, We have been advised to gain Letter of Administration through
Federal High Court Benin Republic and also gain Authority to Remit
Certificate through Federal Ministry of Finance Cotonou which will
give us all Legal Right to transfer the stated Funds to any of your
Nominated account of which you must have to fly down to Nigeria to
Sign the Authority to Remit Documents which will enable us make the
transfer, but the United State Ambassador whom is the heard of all
Embassy is West Africa Insisted that he does not guarantee the Safety
of any person to Arrive to West Africa duo to Covid 19 Virus, so in
this regards United Nation Heard Officer has instructed that an
approval will be giving to Bank Africa to make the transfer to Any
Chartered Bank in the Country of your stay after this They ill now
have to asign a Delegate Officer From the high Commission in Nigeria
whom will fly down to your Country of your Base with the Authority to
remit Certificate which you will you sign and Deposit in your Bank for
Onward Transfer of the said Funds to Local Bank.
In this regards you are advised to send your telephone number and
postal address to MR Samuel Ikomo to his whasapp number whom united
nation has instructed to carry out the Documentations.so send to
THE WORLD BANK
1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA