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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- ",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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.ANDREW SMITH" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 22:14:37 -0800
Subject: Re: GOOD DAY SIR/MADAM...
BARCLAYS BANK GROUP PLC.
Southgate House, Osborne Estate,
Osborne Rd, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Tel: +234 818 110 5473
Tel: +234 818 563 4355
PAYMENT SUM OF Â£7,500,000.00 POUNDS.
Want to bring to your notice about the due process of your outstanding
Contract/Inheritance payment which was suspended by the management of this
Bank by stopping the telex unit to pause the transfer of your
contract/inheritance funds to your nominated bank account. During the
auditing of all financial records in our Bank (Barclays Bank) it was
discovered from the records of outstanding payment with our Bank that your
name is next on the list of those who will receive their funds. As a result
of this development, verification conducted by credit department in
conjunction with the Debt Verification Panel on your contract/inheritance
fund, your file has been endorsed for immediate payment awaiting your
We hereby bring to your notice that your contract/inheritance payment is
being processed and the sum of Â£7,500,000.00 Pound has been CONVERTED TO
UNITED STATES DOLLAR, which is the sum of $9,935,000.00 United States
Dollar ( Nine Million, Nine Hundred and thirty Five thousand United States
Dollar only), Will be released to you as soon as you re-confirm your
information to Barclays Bank Plc.
Kindly re-confirm your information to this bank, and we will proceed on the
releasing of your fund immediately into your bank account.
Your Full Name:
Your Age and Marital Status:
Your Telephone Number:
Your Identification Card:
Your Bank Name:
Your Account Number
Your Account Holders Name:
Your Routing Number:
Your Swift Code:
As soon as this information is received, your payment will be wired into
your bank account directly from Barclays Bank Plc, and a copy will be given
to you for you to take to your bank and confirm it.
Mr. Andrew Smith,
Barclays Bank PLC.