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:
- ",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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 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: "Mrs. Cyndy Banks" <info@lee>
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2023 21:34:06 -0800
Subject: You Are Advised To Stop Contacting Them!!!
I am Mrs. CYNDY BANKS, I am a US citizen, 42 years Old. I reside here in Sp=
ring City, Pennsylvania. I am thinking of relocating since I am now rich. I=
am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Troy Illinois many y=
ears ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $52,000 while in the U=
nited States trying to get my payment all to no avail. I decided to travel =
down to Troy Illinois with all my compensation documents and i was directed=
to meet Mr. David Smith the (Director, Federal Reserve Bank, New York) he =
is the chairman of the COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, I contacted him and he=
explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through email=
s are fake because the Inheritance/Compensation Law clearly states that the=
beneficiary/recipient is exempt from paying any out of pocket fees or char=
ges to receive said full payment. Mr. David smith took me to the paying ban=
k for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the happiest wom=
an on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $9,500,000.00 =
(nine million five hundred thousand dollars). Moreover, Mr. David Smith sho=
wed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments=
and I saw your name and email address as one of the beneficiaries that is =
why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not =
with your funds, they are only making money out of you. I will advise you t=
o contact Mr. David Smith, you have to contact him directly on this informa=
tion below. COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE (FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, NEW YORK) Name:=
Mr. David Smith Email: email@example.com Phone No: +1(251) 215-92=
40 Listed below are the name of mafias and banks behind the non release of =
your funds that I managed to sneak out for your kind perusal. 1) Prof. Char=
les soludo 2) Micheal Edward 3) Sanusi Lamido 4) Dr. R. Rasheed 5) Mr. Davi=
d Koffi 6) Barrister Awele Ugorji 7) Mr. Roland Ngwa 8) Barrister Ucheuzo W=
illiams 9) Mr. Ernest Chukwudi Obi 10) Dr. Patrick Aziza Deputy Governor - =
Policy / Board Member 11) Mr. Tunde Lemo Deputy Governor - Financial Sector=
Surveillance/Board Member 12) Mrs. W. D. A. Mshelia Deputy Governor - Corp=
orate Services/BoardMembers 13) Mrs. Okonjo Iweala 14) Mrs. Rita Ekwesili 1=
5) Barr Jacob Onyema 16) Dr. Godwin Oboh: Director Union Bank Of Nigeria. 1=
7) Mr. John Collins: Global Diplomat Director. 18) Foreign fund diplomatic =
courier 19) Barr. Becky Owens 20) Rev. Steven Jones 21) Mr. Alfred james 22=
) Mrs. Sherry Williams 23) Mr. Scott Larry 24) Senator David Mark 25) Chief=
Joseph Sanusi You really have to stop dealing with those people that are c=
ontacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in any=
way with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you =
up until you have nothing. The only money I paid after I met Mr. David smit=
h was just $750 for the delivery charges, take note of that. (NOTE: I REPEA=
T THE ONLY MONEY YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY AND WHICH I ALSO PAID IS $750 FOR THE=
DELIVERY CHARGES IMPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND YOUR PACKAGE CONTAINING YOU=
R CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT CHEQUE OR ATM CARD WILL BE REACHING YOU THROUGH THE =
EXPRESS COURIER SERVICE). Once again stop contacting those people, I will a=
dvise you to contact Mr.David smith so that he can help you to deliver your=
funds instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around =
asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction. MRS. CYNDY=