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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "fbi.gov" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 15:51:08 -0800
Subject: Dear Beneficiary, Congratulation to you!!!!!!!!!!
DEAR BENEFICIARY, I BRING TO YOU GOOD NEWS.
THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING TOWARDS THE ERADICATION
AND SCAM ARTISTS IN AFRICA WITH THE HELP OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN
UNITY (AU) UNITED NATIONS
(UN), EUROPEAN UNION (EU) AND FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI).
WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRACK DOWN SOME SCAM ARTIST IN VARIOUS
PARTS OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES WHICH INCLUDES (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN,
GHANA AND SENEGAL WITH
COTE D'IVOIRE ) AND THEY ARE ALL IN GOVERNMENT CUSTODY NOW, THEY WILL
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) SOON FOR JUSTICE.
DURING THE COURSE OF INVESTIGATION, THEY WERE ABLE TO RECOVER SOME
FROM THESE SCAM
ARTISTS AND IMF ORGANIZATIONS HAVE ORDERED THE FUNDS RECOVERED TO BE
SHARED AMONG THE 10 LUCKY
PEOPLE LISTED AROUND THE WORLD AS COMPENSATION. THIS NOTICE HAS BEEN
DIRECTED TO YOU BECAUSE
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WAS FOUND IN ONE OF THE SCAM ARTISTS FILE AND
HARD-DISK DURING THE
INVESTIGATION, MAYBE YOU HAVE BEEN SCAMMED.
YOU ARE THEREFORE BEING COMPENSATED WITH SUM OF $5,500,000.00 VALID
AN (ATM CARD NUMBER 4848421098879602)
SINCE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IS AMONG THE LUCKY BENEFICIARIES WHO WILL
A COMPENSATION FUNDS,
WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT TO BE PAID TO YOU THROUGH ATM VISA CARD
DELIVER TO YOUR POSTAL
ADDRESS WITH THE PIN NUMBERS TO ENABLE YOU TO WITHDRAW A MAXIMUM OF
$25,000 ON EACH WITHDRAWAL FROM
ANY BANK ATM MACHINE OF YOUR CHOICE, UNTIL ALL THE FUNDS ARE EXHAUSTED.
THE ATM CARD WITH SECURITY PIN NUMBERS SHALL BE DELIVERED TO YOU USING
EXPRESS MAIL SERVICE (DHL).
THE PACKAGE IS COMING FROM UGANDA . DON'T FORGET TO RECONFIRM YOUR
1. YOUR FULL NAME:
2. ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT US TO SEND YOUR ATM CARD
3. CELL/MOBILE NUMBER:
WE ADVISE YOU TO STOP ALL COMMUNICATIONS WITH EVERYONE REGARDING YOUR
PAYMENT AS WE
HAVE SHORT LISTED TO DELIVER TO YOU AND NOW URGE YOU TO COMPLY AND
YOUR ATM CARD FUNDS.
THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING AS YOU FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS WHILE I WAIT
HEAR FROM YOU TODAY.
BEST REGARDS: CHRISTOPHER WRAY