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:
- 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 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)
- ",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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: AGENT FRANK WOOD BERTH <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 21:27:18 +0900
Subject: URGENT REPLY FROM THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS!!
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS
FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Attention: Beneficiary ,
This is Agent FRANK WOOD BERTH from UNITED STATE OF AMERICA Washington DC. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Has discovered through our Intelligence Monitoring Network, that you have an ongoing transaction with SECRETARY ERIC BONNER transaction code (INTD850), as the Beneficiary of the said $8,500,000 USD. (Eight Million, five hundred thousand dollars) confirmed on an ATM CARD.
So, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington DC, in CONJUNCTION with the Scotland Yard and IBANKING FIDELITY, has screened through our various Monitoring Networks and has been confirmed and notified that the transaction you have with SECRETARY ERIC BONNER is Legal and you have the Lawful Right to claim your due fund of $8.5, million dollars. We advise you to go ahead with him as we are monitoring all their services and network. Be advised that any letter or lottery Notification received from anybody or company should be forwarded to us with immediate effect. The UK Government has spent over $1.7 million dollars ensuring these scammers are brought before the law and prosecuted. they are still ready to spend more to make sure they are brought before the law- and law-abiding citizens like you reclaim your overdue funds.
Please, be advised and be aware that your ATM CARD worth $8.5 Million USD has been insured and you are to take care of the necessary charges (FEES) required to deliver your ATM CARD to you note that SECRETARY ERIC BONNER is the only truthful and genuine person that you are to contact for the release of your ATM CARD and give him all necessary assistance that he will demand from you to execute the card delivery to your address.
Finally: Note that we have made some arrest with the help of the American ambassadors in Africa and also in some part of the Europe and their names are withheld in our custody meanwhile don't forget to keep your transaction with SECRETARY ERIC BONNER secret to avoid some hoodlums and bad eggs that wants to intercept your card. You are to contact SECRETARY ERIC BONNER on this email below.
Contact Person's: SECRETARY ERIC BONNER
Office Address: Office address: 4th Floor, Tower C,
Churchgate Plaza, 473 White lane,
Note That if you receive any Emails from anybody if not this particular email that is stated above, the letter should be disregarded and ignored to avoid being scammed Unless This ONE Email who shall Transfer to you and co-operate with SECRETARY ERIC BONNER and give me feedback.
The FBI can be contacted 24 hours a day, every day. Here$B!G(Bs when and how: Note: at this time, we do not have a national e-mail address for public questions or comments. Some of our local FBI offices, however, do have their own e-mail addresses.
FRANK WOOD BERTH
GOD BLESS AMERICA.