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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mr.Mark Milly" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2023 00:30:03 +0100
Subject: ATM CARD
United Nations Liaison Office
Geneva Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10. Switzerland
Our Dear 2023 Beneficiary
The United Nations in cooperation with World Bank have agreed to
compensate you with the sum of One Million Two Hundred Thousand US
Dollars ($1.2) after your name and email was submitted by the Internet
International Monitoring Group during the UNCC Conference Meeting
which was held this 2021 edition with UN Secretary General
AntÃ³nio Guterres in Geneva Switzerland. This payment Program is
organized for charity organization/Scam victims and development.
You have been selected among the (40) beneficiaries who will receive the
sum of $1.2USD, Credited to Online Bank ATM Card account that was set
up for you in the Bank and it has been approved for immediate delivery
Your urgent response to this email will help facilitate the onward
delivery of your ATM card to you, Contact Delivery officer Dr.
Usman Mohammed E-mail ( email@example.com ) ( +229-6054-0293 )
Send to Him
Your Full Name,_________________
Address: Home, Or Office__________________
A scan Copy of You Identification__________