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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Operations <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2022 15:00:12 +0100
Subject: ZENITH BANK, PLC
COMPENSATION FUNDS PAYMENT ORDER
VIA ATM CARD
This is to inform you that we have been working towards the
eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Africa with the help of
the Organization of African Unity (OAU) United Nations (UN),
European Union (EU) and FBI.
We have been able to track down some scam artist in various parts of
African countries which includes (Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana
and Senegal) and they are all in Government custody now, they will
appear at International Criminal Court (ICC) soon for Justice.
During the course of investigation, they were able to recovered some
funds from these scam artists and IMF organization have ordered the
funds recovered to be shared among the 50 Lucky people listed around
the World as a compensation.
This notice is been directed to you because your email address was
found in one of the scam Artists file and Computer hard-disk while the
investigation, maybe you have been scammed. You are therefore being
compensated with sum of $10,500,000.00 (Ten million, Five Hundred
Thousand US Dollars only.
Since your email address is among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive
a compensation funds, we have arranged your payment to be paid to you
through ATM VISA CARD and deliver to your postal address with the Pin
Numbers as to enable you withdrawal maximum of $10,000.00 on each
withdrawal from any Bank ATM Machine of your choice, until all the
funds are exhausted.
The ATM Card with Security Pin Numbers shall be delivered to you using
Express Mail Service (EMS) but at your own expense.
The package is coming from Nigeria, Don't forget to re-confirm your
1. Your Full Name:
2. Address Where You want us to Send Your ATM Card
3. Cell/Mobile Number:
Kindly contact our Account officer and request for your compensation amount
of $10,500,000.00 and the person to contact is no other person than
Mr. Fred Wilson with the following details,
CONTACT ACCOUNT OFFICER
MR FRED WILSON
We advice you to stop all the communications with everyone regarding
your payment as we have short listed to deliver to you and now urge
you to comply and receive your ATM Card funds.
Thanks for your understandin as you follow instructions while I wait
to hear from you today.
Yours in Services
Dr Joshua Ibeh
Director of Operations
Zenith Bank Plc,