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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "BARCLAYS BANK PLC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 2021 13:32:19 +0100
Subject: REF:-INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$27.000,000.00)
BARCLAYS BANK PLC.
CLAP HAM JUNCTION BRANCH,
7 ST JOHNS HILL,
SW 11 1 TN, LONDON
Alternative Email email@example.com
ATTENTION :DEAR BENEFICIARY
REF:-INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$27.000,000.00)
This is the second time we are notifying you about this said fund.
After due vetting and evaluation of your Inheritance file which The
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in conjunction with the
Ministry Of Finance Of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Forwarded and
contracted us to see to your immediate payment of the sum of
US$27,000,000.00 from their Offshore Account with us.
We were meant to understand from our findings that you have been going
through hard ways by paying a lot of charges to see the release of your
fund (US$27,000,000.00), which has been delayed. Which has been the
handiwork of some miscreant elements from Nigeria
We advise that you stop further communication with any correspondence from
Nigeria . You don't have to pay any charges to receive your Contract fund
anymore as you have met up with the whole requirements, your
representatives in Nigeria will tell you to still go ahead with them but at
your own risk.
The only thing required from you is to obtain Non-Resident Clearance
Form/Receipt which which is very important that you obtain We will help
you to see that you obtain the form so that our bank will affect immediate
transfer of your Inheritance sum (US$27,000,000.00) into your designated
Should you follow up our directives, your fund will reflect in your account
within five Bank working days from the day you obtain this form. Do not go
through anybody again but through this Bank if you really want your fund.
Finally, you are advised to forward to this bank your receiving Account.
Where you want this fund to be remitted. Please for your information kindly
reply to this email address: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mr. Frank Edward Staley
Head, Private Banking Section.