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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us 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)
- 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: Mrs Linda Andy <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 11:10:19 -0800
Subject: Attention: Dear Beneficiary
I am here to inform you that United Bank FOR Africa was assigned to
transfer your funds the sum of $16.5Million to your bank account. We
opened a domiciliary bank account in your name and your funds was
deposited into the domiciliary account.The reason why you have not
been notified about the funds before now is because we have been
trying to purchase all the required documents so that the transfer
will not be stopped when you are about to transfer the money to your
Your funds have been credited with United bank for Africa Benin Rep
branch after our finally meeting the (united nation) regarding your
Inheritance fund and the amount you are to receive is US$16.5Million
USD,Please note that the transfer will be performed via online
banking,They totally gives beneficiaries like you the opportunity to
transfer funds via telephone.banking to be able to escape
international monetary policies against transfer of funds above
million us dollars,So kindly contact Person Mr Gbenga Markinde now
via this email,( firstname.lastname@example.org ) Note that they will need your
United Bank for Africa Benin Rep is delighted to inform you that we
have today completed all necessary arrangement that will enable the
$16.5Million reflect into your bank account successfully after one
banking day from the day United bank for Africa will transfer the
money. I am glad to inform you that United Bank for America is 100%
ready to transfer the funds to any bank account of your choice
anywhere in the world.Be rest assured that the $16.5Million will be
transferred same day we reconfirm your information,there will be no
delay to transfer the $16.5Million to any account of your choice for
immediate procedure so try to let me know once they start transferring
(State of Origin)
Mr.Brian T. Moynihan