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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Hon, Marcus Edgar" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2022 19:18:49 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS FROM Mrs. Janet L. Yellen,
I am Mrs. Janet Yellen, U.S. Department of the Treasury International
Affairs and Sworn In As 78th Secretary of the United States Department
of the Treasury on Jan. 1, 2022 in a ceremony attended by Mr.
President of the United States of America Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and
Vice President Mrs. Kamala Devi Harris, See below:
http://www.treas.gov/ organization/bios/ Brainard. shtml
Following series of complains from Citizens of the United States as
well as Citizens of Other Countries In Europe over the
Discrepancies and fraudulent ways in which fund transfers are handled
by Africans which has made it impossible for a lot of People to claim
their Winning or Inheritance funds from most African Countries due to
frauds and illegal activities, A decision was reached recently by the
United States Treasury Department under the authority of the White
House to compel African Financial bodies (Banks) to urgently release
all funds of American and European citizens that are trapped in most
Banks and Courier Companies in Africa. It was discovered that some
bureaucratic bottlenecks were put by these Banks and Couriers service
to make it impossible for beneficiaries to claim their funds so that
they will fraudulently divert those funds to their private accounts.
Consequent upon the aforementioned, I was personally mandated to
handle this matter to ensure that all funds of our Citizens and others
which are fraudulently being trapped in African Banks are urgently
retrieved and paid to the actual Beneficiaries under a legal manner.
Our team of experts were delegated to Benin Republic, Nigeria, Ivory
Coast and Ghana for this task and we discovered your File NO:
BR227/9005666/00 as unclaimed funds. It was discovered that officials
of the Bank have only put up illegal requirements in order to make it
difficult for you to claim your fund.
The United States Department of Treasury has retrieved all Files of
illegal transactions and we will be working under a legitimate
arrangement to ensure that you follow the normal process to receive
your fund. You are requested to Re-confirm the following information
to the 86th United States attorney general by e-mail: @
2. OTHER NAMES.............
3. PHONE NUMBER............
4. YOUR CITY:..............
9. AMOUNT TO BE CLAIMED: $12.500,000.00 million dollars
Be informed that the above information will only enable us to make due
confirmation. We shall ensure that normal process is followed to
ensure that your fund gets to you without delay. Contact attorney
general Barr. Marcusp M. Edgar, And who is the Legal Practitioner to
the United States Department of Treasury office e-Mail below:
Mrs. Janet L. Yellen,
Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury
Chat Conversation End
Address: 700 19th Street, N.W. Washington,