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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Birgit Reiter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2023 15:23:07 +0000
Subject: Hello dear beneficiary.
European ooo Investment Bank in London and the IMF to investigate the good
news season of the unnecessary deferral of funds which have been approved
by law. During our investigation, we discovered that your payment was
delayed by corrupt bank officials who attempted to redirect your funds to
your personal accounts.In order to prevent this dubious act, we agree with
the European Investment Bank of London and the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), we are able to manage this payment and monitor it. Avoid desperate
situations with banks and other authorities in criminal cases.We have
received an irrevocable payment guarantee for your Imf payment. We would
like to inform you that the European Investment Bank has decided to
compensate you with an amount of USD 1,000,000.00 and transfer it to your
bank account via wire transfer.Please contact the correspondent President
of the European Investment Bank, Dr Werner Hoyer , with the email
belowemail: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Contact the bank by whatsapp : +228 93344846Be sure to
contact the above bank without delay for the final release and transfer of
your funds. The European Investment Bank must transfer its funds to your
bank account without delay.We assume your urgent cooperation.*