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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr James okwe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2021 12:23:53 -0800
Subject: Dear Friend
Good to inform you that the transaction went successful in getting
those funds transferred with the co-operation of a new partner from
Cayman Island. At the moment, I am in Cayman Island for investment
projects with my share of the total funds.
In the light of this, I have decided to compensate you with the sum of
US$900,000.00 only for your past efforts and assistance to help me
transfer the funds despite we could not conclude it. The money
(US$900,000.00) has been issued on an ATM Card of Union Bank PLC, to
enable you withdraw a maximum of $9,000.00 daily from any Automated
Teller Machine Worldwide.
You are therefore to contact my Account Officer and do send him Your
Full Name, Contact Phone Number and Address where you want your card
to be sent to you thus,
MR JOHN OSIM
UNION BANK PLC, LAGOS - NIGERIA
Please, do let me know immediately you receive it. I am very busy here
in Cayman Island because of the investment projects, which the new
partner and I are having at hand. So, feel free to get in touch with
him to send your card to you without any delay.
Mr James Okwe.