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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Leon Fox" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 23:44:48 -0700
Subject: Your ATM Card
UNITED BANK BENIN REPUBLIC
Metro Plaza, Plot 991/992,
Zakari Maillart Street
Cadastral Zone AO.
We are to Notify you about the latest development concerning your
payment that is left in our custody, besides,you are given a bill of
Sum in order to receive your payment $1.8Million usd which
We haven't heard from you for some time now. Hence,we are now offering a
Special BONUS to help all our customers that are having their payment
in our custody due to high prices. In other words we are now
requesting that you should pay only the sum of $100 to receive your
funds payment abandoned in our custody by online transfer or atm card
if you wish so.
so you are requested to send the fee $100 only by ITunes Card,or Google
Play CARD,amazonâ Steam Wallet is also ACCEPTED because it can be
redeemed to cash all we needs is the picture of the card,
I will be forwarding to you the account logging details to enable you
access your funds online and proceed on transfer to your designated
bank account in any part of the world Or Tracking Number Of Your ATM
Card Delivery to enable you to Monitor the Arrives of your ATM without
any further delay as soon as you update us with a copy of the required Fee
$100 to take note.
Mr. Leon Fox
The President and CEO.