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:
- 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: vale dickson <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 07:51:47 -0800
Subject: Waiting to hear from you
I am Mr Vale Dickson, i work with MERCURY FINANCE bank, Please Can you
use ATM Visa card to withdraw money at ATM cash machine in your
country? I want to transfer money to you from my country if you can be
honest with me; itâs part of some money deposited by some old
politicians that were forced out of power.
I will change the account details to yours which you will be
withdrawing money from it and always send my own percentage of the
money, and the amount we are talking about is $5.2Million US dollars.
Whatever amount you withdraw daily, you will send 50% to me and keep
50% for yourself, the bank account will be on your name, i assure you
that this is 100% risk free, I am waiting for your information as soon