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:
- "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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: PAUL OMENE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2022 23:49:45 +0100
Subject: With Regards,
I anticipate that you read this mail quickly and let me know your opinion
or willingness on this classified information that I will release to you.
Firstly, I am Mr.Paul Omene,the regional manager of the Diamond Bank of
Nigeria. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of Ten
million seven hundred fifty thousand Dollars ($10,750.000.00) This fund is
the excess of what my branch in which I am the manager made as profit
during the last three years.
I have already submitted an approved End of the Year report to my Head
Office here in Lagos and they will never know of this Excess. I have since
then, placed this amount of ($10,750.000.00) On a SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without
As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money
thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money
into your bank account. I intend to give 30% of this fund to you while 65%
shall be for me while 5% shall be set to offset any expenses incurred in
the course of this transaction.
I do need to stress that there is practically no risk involved in this. It
is going to be a bank-to-bank transfer to your nominated bank account
anywhere you feel safer. All I need from you is to stand as the original
depositor of this fund.
If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response.