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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "consignment " (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Homeland Security"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2022 18:10:01 -0800
Subject: PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT EMAIL CAREFULLY.
Season Greetings to you.
I write concerning the release of an unclaimed fund worth $7,500,000.00 (Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollar) in your name. The Fund is currently at the Washington DC Security Vault Room. It has been there for over 3 years. It was Seized at the airport because a clear account wasn't given as to the purpose of the Fund. The Interpol intercepted the fund because such funds without a clear background could be used to finance terrorism. We have run a private background check on you and you are clear and have not been part of any terror act, by support or financing. You can receive your total amount.
The only disturbing factor from our findings is that you have done some online transactions that involve Millions of Dollars. Most of these transactions are illegitimate and sponsored by scammers. Which is the reason why some authorities think you are involved in Money laundering. My advice is that you should be careful with whatever you do online that involves money. A lot of illegal transactions are out there and could destroy you image.
Also, It is important to note that we have discussed with the concerned authorities to determine the quickest and most convenient way to receive your payment.
Two(2) options were given.
One of the options is through delivering the total amount in cash to your home address. The total amount will be arranged in a consignment box and delivered to your address through a registered delivery service.
Secondly, the total amount can be wired into any bank account you may provide. (This arrangement may involve some tax payment from the processing bank)
If you are ready to receive your payment through the discussed method, Please indicate your interest for us to proceed with our arrangements. The processing and delivery of the fund by cash or wire is not going to cost you much. We assure smooth release of your total US$7,500,000.00 (Seven Million, five hundred thousand United States Dollar) to you through these methods.
We expect your urgent response to this email to enable us to monitor this payment effectively. I can be reached directly at +1 (202) 524-9139.
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
U.S. Department of
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.