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:
- "million 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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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)
- information: contact name: mr.robert smith. email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email: email@example.com phone (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: " Dr.Phillip Vignon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 07:56:33 -0700
Subject: Attention E-mail Address Owner:
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, Ghana,
Senegal and cote d'ivoire ) 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  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 or you were just lucky,
you email was among the  lucky peoples found in they hard-disk.
You are therefore being compensated with sum of $2.5 million US
Dollars valid into an (ATM Visa Card Number 6119 1022 2744 5160).
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 $5,000, 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 via courier
Service, depending your choice. In order to proceed with this
transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge
(Mr.Robert smith ) via e-mail. Kindly look below to find appropriate
CONTACT NAME: Mr.Robert smith.
PHONE NUMBER:+(229)666 09594
WHATS App +(229)666 09594
Quickly contact him with your full information, name, resident
address, phone number, name of your nearest airport, for him to locate
your home with your package,
Director, Foreign Matters.