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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: John Duncan <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2022 21:20:34 -0800
Subject: VERY URGENT PLEASE......
DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATION,
UNION BANK OF NIG. PLC,
I AM SEEKING FOR YOUR COOPERATION TO PRESENT YOU TO MY BANK AS THE
NEXT OF KIN TO MR RICHARD PETERSON, A FOREIGN CONTRACTOR WITH NIGERIAN
NATIONAL PETROLEUM COOPERATION (NNPC): SO THAT THE SUM OF USD$10.8
MILLION WILL BE PAY TO YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY.FOR YOUR INFORMATION, I
AM THE DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT WITH UNION BANK OF
NIGERIA PLC. THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF UNION BANK OF NIG. PLC,
MANDATED ME TO LOOK FOR ANY KNOWN RELATION OF MR RICHARD
PETERSON,SINCE, AFTER HIS DEATH 5/1/15,HOWEVER ALL MY EFFORTS TRACES
THAT IS THE MAIN REASON I AM WRITING YOU THIS TO ASK FOR YOUR
COOPERATION FOR US TO CLAIM THIS MONEY, SINCE YOU ARE A FOREIGNER.I
ONLY HAVE TO APPROVE YOU,THIS FUND WILL BE PAY TO YOU AS THE
BENEFICIARY . WE ARE TO SHARE THIS MONEY BETWEEN OURSELVES (I AND
YOU) IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN THIS OFFER YOU SHOULD CONTACT ME
FOR DETAIL OF THIS TRANSACTION AND PROCEDURE. PLS DO FORWARD ME YOUR
FULL NAME,ADDRESS, PHONE AND FAX NUMBER, YOUR COMPANY NAME OR
OCCUPATION THESE INFO, ARE VITAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THIS TRANSACTION.
NOTE THAT THIS IS RISK FREE BUSINESS, THIS TRANSACTION WILL COMMENCE
IMMEDIATELY THERE IS INTEREST FROM YOU.