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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: INFO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2022 01:50:54 -0700
Subject: Re: Payment notification.
I am Ms. Rochelle P. Walensky, the current Director of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. In the wake of the global COVID-19
Pandemic, I wish to bring you the good news of hope. Be officially
inform that the United Nations organization department for disaster
management in conjunction with IMF, World Bank, is giving out Covid-19
stimulus package worth $3,500,000.00 USD, and your e-mail address were
selected among other's to receive this stimulus package.
The United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is a UN
inter-agency fund mechanism established by the UN Secretary-General to
help support low- and middle-income people(s) to respond to the
pandemic and its impacts, including an unprecedented socio-economic
shock. The Fundâs assistance programs, targets those most vulnerable
to economic hardship and social disruption around the world.
We are delighted to inform you that due to mixed up of names and
numbers, your email attached to approved number UN6MM020/COVID-19,
which consequently fall on our Chapter, therefore, you are advised to
contact the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund
Coordinator ( Mr. Paul Allen), to claim your $3,500,000.00 USD.
Contact person: Mr. Paul Allen
Contact Email address: email@example.com
The information's required for the transfer of your Covid-19 Relief
fund, should include the following:
1. Full Name :
2. Address :
3. Nationality :
4. Direct Telephone #:
NOTE: that the amount to be paid to you is ( $3,500, 000.00 USD ), we
are expecting your urgent response to this email to enable us monitor
the transaction effectively.
Ms. Rochelle P. Walensky.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.