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:
- "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)
- "barrister" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: robert freeman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2022 00:33:23 +0100
Subject: Urgent Attention
I am Mrs Karine Jean-Pierre the new White House press secretary so i
wish to inform
you about the latest update regards to your grant/compensation
transaction which we now have the remittance order from our new
elected President Joe Biden who has given mandate release order
regarding all outstanding and overdue inheritance and Winning Funds .
According to the new advanced development of this Government your
awarded inheritance funds of over $10 Million Dollars has been
transferred in to your ATM masters Credit card package in Benin
Republicone international airport,
of the best investment firm in the United States due to lots of taxes
and clearances impose over this funds, the general board of
Managements directors has decided to secure your funds as they reinvested this
funds for you with this very best investment firm where it can earn
you profits every 7 days until we get in touch with you and confirm
that you have made up your mind to receive your funds.
You have to contact the Barrister immediately , who is in charge or
the Payment administrator through
this details below for more details about your funds deposited with them.
they will need all your full information name and address right now,
Please make sure that all your information and address is correct ok,
(1Your First Name..........
2Your Second Name.........
Home Address: Occupation:
Here is the information Full details:
Mr Micheal Johnson the Barrister
They will furnish you with all the details you need to access
yourfund as i was informed that your fund has been approved
Kindly contact them asap and also check your email for deposit notifications.
Yours Sincerely:Mrs Karine Jean-Pierre
White House Press Secretary: