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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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)
- our payment officer ernest williams email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org and text call +1(917) 382-1861 with your information as (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MARK ZUCKERBERG"<email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2022 04:50:24 -0700
Subject: YOUR APPROVAL FUND FROM FACEBOOK
Dear Lucky Beneficiary
This is to inform you that your E-mail and Facebook User ID have been
selected as one of the lucky user to benefit in the year 2021 Facebook Lucky
Winner prize from international programs held on the 2nd selection 2021 in
the UNITED STATES. The selection process was carried out through random
selection in our computerized selection system (ESS) from Facebook data user
of over 2 billion email addresses User id drawn from all the continents of
the world which you were selected as one of lucky individual.
It is a great surprise to me that you have not received the fund since last year
as I received a lot of complaint that you have not receive the PAYMENT
your name. However I have approved a fresh payment of US$12,000,000.00 on your
name. The Facebook Lucky Winner/ Compensation is approved to support you and for
you to support those in your locality and payment approval Licensed by the
International Association of Social Media (IASM). To claim this fund Kindly
contact our Payment Officer ERNEST WILLIAMS Email Him at:
and text Call +1(917) 382-1861 with your information as require below:
1. Name in full:
6. Mobile Number:
Note: It's your responsibility as a winner to claim the approval payment.
After you comply with our payment officer and you experience any delay in
receiving the payment Kindly report to me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) for immediate
Yours In Service
MARK ZUCKERBERG CEO
FACEBOOK/ META SOCIAL MEDIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA