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:
- "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. )
- "service 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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 F. Entwistle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 01:46:17 -0800
THIS IS MR James F. Entwistle THE FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, I CAME DOWN HERE IN REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA FOR AN ECO WAS
MEETING AND I WAS SEARCHING FOR SOME FILES THAT I LEFT IN THIS OFFICE
BEFORE I LEFT AND FOUND OUT THAT YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR FUND, AND I
ASKED THE PRESENT AMBASSADOR MR STUART SYMINGTON WHAT HAPPENED THAT YOU
HAVE NOT RECEIVE YOUR FUND AND HE SAID THAT YOU REFUSED TO PAY THE REQUIRED
FEE FOR THE DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM CARD.
I'M CONTACTING YOU THIS MORNING BECAUSE THE DIRECTOR OF THE ATM CARD CENTER
HERE IN REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA SAID THAT THEY WILL DIVERT YOUR ATM CARD TO THE
GOVERNMENT TREASURY JUST BECAUSE THAT YOU CANNOT PAY FOR THE SERVICE FEE
OF YOUR ATM CARD WHICH IS $150 ONLY ACCORDING TO THEM.BUT I TOLD THEM TO
WAIT UNTIL I HEAR FROM YOU TODAY SO THAT I WILL KNOW THE REASON WHY YOU
REJECTED SUCH AMOUNT OF MONEY $8.5M WHICH WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE JUST
BECAUSE OF $125 I WANT YOUR URGENT RESPONSE AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS
EMAIL AND EXPLAIN TO ME THE REASON WHY YOU HAVE ABANDON YOUR ATM CARD
BECAUSE OF $150. BUT IF YOU DON'T NEED IT
THEN I CAN CHANGE YOUR NAME TO ANOTHER PERSON SO THAT THIS GOVERN nMENT
WILL NOT CLAIM THIS MONEY BUT I KNOW THAT YOU WILL LOVE TO HAVE IT.PLEASE
MY DEAR I WANT TO HELP YOU TO RECEIVE THIS FUND BECAUSE IT WAS A BIG SHOCK
TO ME THAT YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVE YOUR ATM CARD AND WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY SINCE
3 YEARS NOW AND I'M VERY SORRY FOR THAT AND YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR FUND
BEFORE THE END OF THIS MEETING WHICH WILL TAKE US 6 DAYS AND I WILL BE HERE
TO MONITOR IT UNTIL YOU RECEIVE YOUR FUND.contact this email address(
RECONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION SUCH IS.
YOUR FULL NAME=======YOUR HOME ADDRESS====YOUR COUNTRY=========YOUR PHONE NUMBER====
MR James F. Entwistle
+234-80-8744-8474 Call Me Now
FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA,