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.
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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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Wema Bank Plc <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2021 12:06:15 +0100
Subject: YOUR FUND IS NOW READY TO RELEASE THROUGH ONLINE METHOD (READ THIS
AND GET BACK TO ME )
Wema Bank PLC Towers,
Contact Person: Ademola Abimbola Adebise Chief Executive Officer,
MD & Executive Director
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT
CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/2011,
Our Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/011
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Email : email@example.com
Attention To All Beneficiary
IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT/ INHERITANCE #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/2021
On behalf of the entire members and staffs of the Wema Bank of Nigeria
(WBN), We are here to give you good service after our meeting today I
am happy to inform you that your fund will been release to you through
on-line banking system please once again make sure you follow the
Be informed, that this honorable office was mandated by the United
States Government to handle all the outstanding payments certified
okay and genuine in our computing net work system. It might interest
you to know that the United States has been receiving lots of complain
from genuine beneficiaries who have lost their life savings to these
Having said that, you are advised as a matter of urgency to re-confirm
the following information to enable us complete the release of your
funds within 72 banking hours base on the mandate given to us by the
United States Government.
Bear in mind that the on-line account will cost only $150 usd for
opening fees so get back to me if you are ready then we will send you
the information needed to open the on-line account.
Once again you are advise to file out this form and send it back to us
as soon as possible today to enable us re-open your account again
please bear with us and remember that you total sum is
$15,500,000.00.usd if you have any question please feel to call us as
soon as possible.
Date of Birth*
Sex* Male Female
Marital Status -- Select -- Married Single Divorced Widowed
Next of Kin
Monthly Income :
We wait to read your update as soon as you file out this form okay.
Mr.Ademola Abimbola Adebise Chief Executive Officer,
MD & Executive Director WEMA BANK PLC DIRECTOR/CEO