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 states 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)
- ",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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Mary Beth Leonard <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 01:06:50 -0800
Subject: ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY ,
ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY ,
I AM MRS.MARY BETH LEONARD, UNITED STATE AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA, JUST
IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW ME, I WANT YOU TO CLICK THIS WEBSITE FOR MORE
INFORMATION ABOUT ME: http://https://ng.usembassy.gov
THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY HAS RESOLVED ON A DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO
NIGERIA ON-BEHALF OF 100 SCAM VICTIMS TO BE COMPENSATED AFTER POLICE
ARRESTED SOME FRAUDSTERS IN NIGERIA WHO MENTIONED YOUR PARTICULARS
AS ONE OF THE VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
NOTE THAT AFTER MY MEETING WITH MR MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT FEDERAL
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND OTHER HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE MEMBERS, WORLD
BANK, UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF), THEY
AGREED TO PAY YOU $5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS
)AS YOUR COMPENSATION.
CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR NAME WERE AMONG THE LIST TO BE PAID $5M US
DOLLARS COMPENSATION PAYMENT. SO RE-CONFIRM BELOW INFORMATION SO THAT
THERE WILL NOT BE ANY MISTAKE:
1) YOUR FULL NAME: ---------------
2) YOUR CURRENT HOUSE ADDRESS: -------------
3) CURRENT DIRECT TELEPHONE: -------------
4) OCCUPATION & AGE: -------------
AS SOON AS I RECEIVE THE INFORMATION, I WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO TO
RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY.GET BACK TO ME
IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO SPEND HERE IN
NIGERIA.CALL YOU ME ON MY DIRECT MOBILE PHONE:+2348130372570 ,PLEASE
SEND ME EMAIL THROUGH MY PERSONNAL EMAIL
MY BEST REGARDS.
MRS.MARY BETH LEONARD
UNITED STATE AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA