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:
- "account opening" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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)
- "account opening form" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2022 16:17:48 +0100
ATTENTION MY DEAR
YOUR ONLINE BANKING PAYMENT (Bank of America)
I'm glad to announce to you today that a new payment policy has been adopted
and you have been shortlisted for payment via Online Banking Bank of
hereby inform you that Bank of America California have instructed to
open online Banking transfer
account with you on your behalf to credit your account with the approved amount
of US$10.6 (TEN MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS )only
deposited From Cas instructed by United Nation organization,
Further more Endeavor to email us the following information for immediate
Email address __________
Current country /state _______
These are the requirements that you need to be aware of before you contact
us below.1)You will fill the online account opening form, Send him an email in
regards to your funds $10,600,000.00(TEN MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND
US DOLLARS) that has been approved by the Federal
Government of United States of America
DIRECTOR OF YOUR FUND TRANSFER
Kindly send me your information and i will transfer your funds right
now to your account
this is our link