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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "on my direct telephone line" (a common phrase found 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.
Fraud email example:
From: John Chang <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023 13:51:52 -0600
Subject: About your fund. I want you to protect my identity.
I am an official here at a bank in Nigeria, Please I want you to keep
my communication with you a very top secret.
Do you know that the sum of $3,700,000.00 (Three Million Seven Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars) have been approved to be paid to you
through DMT for being a foreign fund beneficiary owed here in Nigeria,
but the senior officials here do not want you to receive the
I don't know why these senior officials are preventing you from
receiving the $3,700,000.00 that has been approved to be paid to you
Your fund is more than $3,700,000.00 but it is only $3,700,000.00 that
has been approved to be paid to you through DMT.
I don't want to take much of your time, I will make sure the
$3,700,000.00 is paid to you through DMT but you have to protect my
If you assure me, you will protect my identity, I want you to reply
back to me by sending me this information of yours which I will submit
to DMT to enable DMT to process the transfer of the sum of
$3,700,000.00 to you.
A. Your WhatsApp Number (Your WhatsApp number is very important).
B. Your telephone Number.
C. Your Bank account details where the sum of $3,700,000.00 will be
Call me on my direct telephone line immediately you send your reply.
My direct telephone line is +234 904 1565862
Mr. John Chang.
Tel: +234 904 1565862