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:
- "consignment " (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: USA SECURITY DEPARTMENT <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 23:32:47 -0700
Subject: Dear Email Owner/Fund Beneficiary,
ORDER/PERMISSION TO RELEASE FUND
Hello this is Mr. Larry White United States Special Investigator; I am
contacting you via email today because I feel it is the best means of
communicating you at this moment. I work with the United state Fraud
Unit of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). I specialized in
Investigating people's funds which include Compensation Fund, Donation
Fund, Inheritance Fund or Next of Kin, Consignment Box, LottoÂ®
Jackpot, Loans, etc and I notice that you have being receiving
numerous mails from people who claims to have funds coming to you if
yes I advise that you stop communicating with any of them on issue of
funds, because those people have being investigated and confirmed to
be a Fraud.
Having introduced myself to you I wish to announce our successful
investigation which took place few days ago, the investigation we
conducted was to have a clear view of the legitimate owner of the said
fund and it was truly confirmed that you have 100% Legitimate unpaid
fund, which has been in the government custody since the time of
Barack Obama the former president of United States and you have every
right to claim this funds as you have been confirmed to be the
rightful Beneficiary of the said amount $6.5 Million USD giving to you
as a compensation fund, this is a compensation to everyone that
receives Donation Fund, Inheritance Fund or Next of Kin, Consignment
Box, LottoÂ® Jackpot, Loans, etc. Your $6.5 Million USD, has been
approved for payment by International Monetary Fund (IMF) here in
United States. This announcement has to be made open to you because
you may have being swindled by those unscrupulous people which you
might be sending money to, in the name of getting one fund or the
other which is not real and for this reason, I have decided to help
you get your funds directly from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
here in United States because your Legitimate funds remains unpaid.
I want to know if you're interested in receiving your unpaid
legitimate funds, value $6.5 Million USD. However,I will only be of
help if you agreed to follow my instructions. If you're really
interested in receiving your unpaid $6.5 Million USD, I advise that
you get back to me immediately via this email
email@example.com . All I need is your cooperation and
Please you can contact me back on my email firstname.lastname@example.org
United States Special Investigator