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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: First National Bank <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2021 10:24:41 +0100
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPOND IS NEEDED
FIRST NATIONAL BANK (FNB) VIRGINIA BRANCH,
(PRIVATE ONLINE BANKING SECTION)
OFFICE ADDRESS:251 BROAD ST,
ALTA VISTA, LYNCH BURG,
VA 24505, USA.
Please note that after much deliberation and due consideration with
Executive Management of FIRST NATIONAL BANK (FNB) VIRGINIA BRANCH,
concerning your unclaimed fund valued $5,500,00 usd and your account
has now become a subject of litigation after a ministerial resolution
meeting this morning with the executive has considered your plight of
fund through this Branch in Virginia to transferred to you the above
Meanwhile, We are by copy of this email authorizing the remittance
department of this branch to open a credit online account login on your
behalf and credit you with the above mentioned sum without further
We do this in order to make sure our customers do not suffer
unnecessarily while we pursue the case of fraud/corruption to the
Your account must be set up and running within 48 hrs upon.
We are waiting to hear from you.
MR. WILLIAM M. PEARSON
BRANCH OPERATIONS MANAGER