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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- 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: Mrs Kathy Brelish <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2021 00:13:21 -1200
Subject: DEUTSHE BANK
I am Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank. My office monitors and
controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions in
Germany concerned with foreign claim payments. I am the final
signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within
banks both on the local and international levels in line with foreign
claim settlements. I have before me a list of funds, which could not
be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have been
identified either as ghost accounts, unclaimed deposits or
On this note, The (BOA) Bank Of America, First National Bank of South
Africa, Investment Standard Bank of UK have received an Order from
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to finally
release all pending Lottery winning payments, Contracts payments,
Inheritance funds, Loan payments, ATM card claims and all pending
payments. I have a file before me and the data is correct and
un-tampered. As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these
surplus funds to the Federal Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts
as unclaimed deposits, I have the opportunity to write you as the
beneficiary of US$32Million based on the instructions I received two
days ago from the Foreign Debts reconciliation dept to submit the
The sum of US$32Million United States Dollars only will be transferred
into your account after the processing of all relevant legal documents
with your name as the bonfire beneficiary; the transfer will be made
by bank to bank transfer. Your total fund will be transfer into your
nominated bank account as soon as you reply to us through this
Waiting for your reply
CEO of Deutsche Bank