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:
- "required fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million 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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Peter Eric" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2021 16:26:21 +0100
Subject: My regard to you and your family
I know it is because of your past experience that make you not to
believe me but I told you before that I cannot deceive you because
what shall it profit a man to gain material things and loose your
soul, what another assurance do you need before you will send the
required fee of $50 for us to renew your payment fill from Benin High
Court on behalf of you?, i have assured you a time without number that
this is genuine and legitimate, just buy $50 iTunes card or google
Play gift Card and send.
The amount credited on the card is $2.5 million dollars you can
withdraw $20,000 per day until the $2.5 million dollars is fully paid
I swear and am here to swear again that nothing will stop you receive
your ATM funds after this $50, if i fail to send your ATM Card within
5 hours after you send the $50 as i promise you, i cannot fail you,
don't fear, as soon as you send the $50 today leave the rest to me and
see if i am lie to you or not because i can not use my life swear
because of $50, how can i swear against my life because of this? but
is to show you that what am telling you is truth, so please try to
understand me and send this $50 is big amount but is too small to
compare how much is in your ATM Card you will receive within 5 hours.
I assure you of this delivery and you will be more than happy. Take
note; On the parcel, you will find a brown envelope sealed together
inside the package, a secret code 4 digit number that is the code you
need to access the ATM CARD.
I swear If you are able to make this payment immediately, your ATM
CARD will be dispatched today, with tracking information which you can
use to monitor your package while on transit till it finally gets to
your address. am here by giving you 100% Assurance that you will
receive your ATM.
I guarantee you as soon as we receive $50 today we shall send your
pick up information within 5 hours.
Dr. Mike Nwale
Foreign Operation Manager