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:
- ",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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Andrew Smith" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2021 05:20:01 -0700
BARCLAYS GROUP NIG LTD.
Southgate House, Osborne Estate,
Osborne Rd, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Tel: +234 818 110 5473
Tel: +234 818 563 4355
PAYMENT SUM OF Â£1,500,000.00 POUNDS.
I, Mr. Andrew Smith, the Area Director of Barclays Bank Plc, want to inform
you that We have a transaction documentation in your name for the
remittance of Â£1,500,000.00 Pounds (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Great
Britain Pounds Only) into your bank account. This fund was deposited by the
National Lottery Company Board of Directors here in the Nigeria branch.
According to the good news that your Email-Address Won the sum of
Â£1,500,000.00 Pound for the last National Lottery draw.
We hereby bring to your notice that your winning payment is being processed
and the sum of Â£1,500,000.00 Pound has been CONVERTED TO UNITED STATES
DOLLAR, which is the sum of $2,082,945.00 USD ( Two Million Eighty Two
Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty Five United States Dollar only), Will be
released to you as soon as you re-confirm your information to Barclays Bank
Kindly re-confirm your information to this bank, and we will proceed on the
releasing of your fund immediately into your bank account.
Your Full Name:
Your Age and Marital Status:
Your Telephone Number:
Your Identification Card:
Your Bank Name:
Your Account Number
Your Account Holders Name:
Your Routing Number:
Your Swift Code:
As soon as this information is received, your payment will be wired into
your bank account directly from Barclays Bank Plc, and a copy will be given
to you for you to take to your bank and confirm it.
Mr. Andrew Smith,
Barclays Bank PLC.