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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (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))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Cynthia Morgan <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2021 05:10:16 -0700
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS 2021
Notification of Your Loaded Wire Cheque Is Ready
Text Me OR Call 201 590 7455
We hereby officially notifying you about the present arrangement to
pay you, your over due Winning Prize/inheritance fund which you could
not complete the process of
the released of your transfer pin code through the Digitized Payment
System. and you have spend a lot of money and a lot time sending money
to different people just to
make sure you receive your fund and after set and done your received
nothing. We have decided to pay your funds through (Wire Cheque) This
arrangement was initiated /constituted by the World Bank, United
Nation and Paris Club, due to fraudulent activities going on within
The World Bank, United Nations and Paris Club introduced this payment
arrangement as to enable our Contract ,Winning Prize,inheritance
beneficiary to receive their
fund without any interference. the Wire Cheque was contracted and
powered by GOLD CARD WORLD WIDE. TheWire Cheque is credited with the
sum of$5,500.000.00 USD(Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United
State Dollars), it is already loaded in the Master Card which you can
use to access your fund in any Wire Cheque Stand/location worldwide
and remember that the maximum withdrawal daily limit is Ten Thousand
United States Dollars(US$10,000.00)we have concluded delivery
arrangement with the below courier services companies and their
delivery time is stated below.
Note that you will pay the delivery fee of your Wire Cheque with any
of the above courier company of your choice before the delivery will
take place to your destination address this fee is most.
Kindly provide me with the below details in your response to this
email and let me know which courier company you would want us to use
for the shipment of your Wire Cheque to you.
1. Valid Delivery Address:
2. Full Names:
3. Phone Number:
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
Director Foreign Remittance Department
United Bank for America (BAFC) Bank Center Plc