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.
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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:
- "million 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: STEVE EDWARD <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2021 04:06:51 +0100
Subject: Your Payment,,
This mail is urgent and requires immediate attention.
I am Steve Edward, General manager treasury department, We have
received authorization instructions / orders to release your long
awaited inheritance outstanding funds valued US$5,700,000.00 million
dollars in your favour. we are surprised the report that reach us here
stated that you're not ALIVE, that you died in the COVID-19 PANDEMIC
DISEASE. your associate MR ROBERT BERNHARDT who purported to be your
cousin / representative came to our office here in the bank to let
us know that you are DEAD, SUCH A SAD NEWS, and before your death, you
authorized him to be your next of kin, and also to make a CHANGE OF
ACCOUNT for the claim of your funds in his name in the tune of
US$5,700,000.00 million dollars that was abandoned in your name with
This is a big problem to the bank, not knowing whom to transfer your
funds to, could you please confirm immediately, if you are Alive, and
your relationship with MR ROBERT BERNHARDT, did you authorize MR
ROBERT BERNHARDT to come for your claim?.
NOTE: If you're alive, urgently reply and re-confirm your full data's,
Your Name and Address , Your Direct Telephone Number, your personal
identification card via attachment for confirmation to us that you are
STILL ALIVE and you did not authorized any body to receive your fund,
for immediate release of your funds US$5,700,000.00 million dollars as
I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation.