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 united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: Customer Service <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2022 22:30:53 +0100
Scam Investigation Unit (S.I.U)
2255 Carlinesd Ave., Suite 500
lgn, island K2B 7Z5
DIRECT LINE 1(216)-5863-555
This is to inform you that the United State Government Authority in
collaboration with the Nigerian Government and Scam Investigation Unit
(SIU) has been alleged to monitor all transaction from our Monetary
Network System here in Nigeria; You are instructed to stop any
transactions you are having with anyone in regards of your long
awaited Fund, This information is reaching you now because we
discovered that you have been involved in a transaction with a lots of
fraudsters here in Nigeria and Benin republic Ghana etc, We are glad
to inform you today that after all our efforts we have been able to
get one of those scammers arrested this morning, One of the arrested
fraudster is here in our custody and his a well-known internet
fraudster who confessed that he has defrauded you some amount of
money, Be inform that we are going to send you his photos for your own
view, The Federal Government of Nigeria is compensating all the Scam
victims with the sum of $5 Five Million United State Dollars, All the
suspects will be charged to court in conclusion of investigation and
prosecuted in line with the Cyber crime Prevention/Prohibition Act,
Now contact the office of Remittance Department with all your
information and apply for the release/of your compensation Fund worthy
the sum of $5 Five Million United State Dollars through the office of
(Dr. Abdu Abubakar) of Remittance Department Central Bank of Nigeria
and ask him to release your compensation Fund to you with immediate
Remittance Department Information
Name: Dr. Abdu Abubakar
Email Address: email@example.com
Below is the information you need to forward to him for the release of
your compensation Fund.
Your Full Names:
Your Home Address:
Your Age /Occupation:
Your Phone / Fax Number:
Hon. Raymond Steve
DIRECT LINE 1(216)-5863-555