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:
- "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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Troy S. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2022 09:57:38 -0800
Subject: FUND RELEASE
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20004, USA
This office is writing to you to let you know that we have
successfully brought all foreign transactions down here because of the
complaints and reports we are receiving that citizens are being
intimidating, cheating and depriving their legal right to their
inherited, winning and contract funds from foreign countries.
Therefore all matter regarding local and international transactions
from African, Europe, Asia etc has been released and a total funds of
$8,700,000.00 United States Dollars is in your name according to the
gathered files so far and you are to contact us today for the release
and the claim of the funds if you are still interested to receive your
funds as we have done our best to secure all the funds that was unable
to transfer from foreign agents due to one reason or the other.
N:B After this clearing house, all unclaimed funds go to the Federal
treasury as unclaimed funds as the beneficiary will be assumed dead or
lack the capacity to claim said amount.
Troy S. Miller