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:
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Board" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 17:09:29 +0200
Subject: Re: Compensation Payment
We wish to convey to you that the European Union and the United Nations Human Rights Council in conjunction with The UK's Fraud Prevention Service, British Bankers Association, and The National Fraud Authority (NFA) on behalf of the British government have approved the sum 35,000,000.00 Million GBP = 57,723,192.06 Million USD for compensation to scam and fraud victims.
Your country Embassy, London UK presented 120 cases of her citizens that was defraud in the United Kingdom, Asia and Africa and it was confirmed by the FBI and the Metropolitan police. However, you have been shortlisted to receive the sum of $1.2 Million being your compensation payment as scam victim.
I wish to state here that this office in her magnanimity has approved the sum of $1.2 Million in your favour for immediate transfer to your designated account. The approval was based on a careful and comprehensive investigation report and the clean bill of health issued by our Financial Advisory Committee, our Audit and Budget Department and the Financial Surveillance Unit. You are expected to furnish us your banking details where the funds will be deposited without further delay
We regret to inform you that we do not have the limitless prerogative and authority to commit scarce foreign exchange indefinitely to your transaction alone. As you already know there are 120 or more beneficiaries awaiting payment.
You should realize that we are committed towards ensuring that all stated transfer preconditions must be strictly adhered to In accordance with UK international transfer acts and policy before transfer can be effected. Accept our congratulations