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:
- ",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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Dale Folwell" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2022 14:14:21 +0100
Subject: Reply Immediately
From The US State Treasurer North Carolina
3200 Atlantic Ave, Raleigh, NC 27604, United States
On behalf of the entire staff of the US Treasurer North Carolina and
in collaboration with IMF and the World Bank Office. We apologize for
the delay of your contract payment/compensation fund, and all the
inconveniences you encountered while pursuing this payment. However,
further to our inspection we also discovered your name in our payment
records as the next on the list of the outstanding beneficiary who
have not yet received his own payment. So right now, your fund of
$5.5M has been handed over to the First citizens Bank for payment,
however, if you like to receive your fund, please let us know by
contacting First Citizens Bank with the following information listed
below, in order for them to proceed remitting your fund to you via
Online Banking system of transfer:
Your Full Name: ______________________________
Your Contact House Address: ____________________
Working Identity Card/Int'l Passport:________________
However, kindly find below the contact person:
Mr. Raymond E. Grace
Chief Executive Officer
First Citizens Bank
Note that from the record in the file, your outstanding payment is
US$5,500,000.00 (Five Million five Hundred United States Dollars) will
be remit to you as soon as you re-confirm the above listed information
to the First Citizens Bank.
Mr. Dale Folwell
US State Treasurer North Carolina