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:
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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: MR BEN LEONEL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 20:39:32 +0100
Subject: Attention Dear Email Owner
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your message. The International
Monetary Fund and World Bank Organization is eradicating poverty in
America,Asia,Europe,Oceania,Russia and your name was among the two
Lucky people listed.Your ATM VISA CARD of ($40 MILLION USD) was
registered with TNT Express Delivery. You will receive it within 72
hours.Your ATM VISA CARD will be handed over to you in person at the
address you will provide below. Note, that ATM VISA CARD must get to
your address within 72 hours once you reconfirm your receiving address
as demanded below.
CONFIRM YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS BELOW AND LET US KNOW IF THERE IS ANY CHANGE:
DIRECT CELL NUMBER:_________
Ask him how you can get your ATM VISA CARD of (US$40,000,000.00.)DOLLARS.
CONTACT PERSON: Mr. BEN LEONEL
CONTACT COMPANY: TNT EXPRESS WORLDWIDE COMPANY
Note: I have paid for the Insurance & Delivery fee.The only fee you
have to pay is their Homeland Security Clearance($200),Please indicate
the Code:(TNT0177) and ask Him how to pay their Security fee so that
you can pay it immediately.
International Monetary Fund,United Nations.
From Desk of the World Bank Group.