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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- ",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)
- "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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "Mr. Anthony Bashir" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2023 03:40:12 -0700
Subject: Attention Fund Beneficiary!
Iâm Dr. Anthony Bashir the Financial
Counselor and Director Monetary Funds Control Unit and Capital
Markets Department, (I.M.F). I'm a highly placed official of the
International Monetary Fund (I.M.F).Note. Due to the global financial
crisis rocking the American's, Africa, Asian and European Countries
presently, we the (I.M.F) International Monetary Fund conducted an
investigation at the Western Union Headquarters and the Money Gram
Headquarters in America with the assistance of the United States FBI
and the CIA.
We wish to inform you that during our investigation process at the
Western Union and the Money Gram Headquarters, your name was found
among the scam victims that sent out money through western union to
other countries without receiving anything in return rather all you
got was a empty promises of your funds release.
Therefore, the World Bank has approved the total sum of $6,500,000.00
(Six Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) to your
name and the approved fund is ready for immediate payout to you as a
compensation, please be aware that among the 35 scam victims that
applied after receiving our message was approved to receive the
compensation funds, and 19 scam victims among them has been paid
$6,500,000.00usd each and you are the next victims to be paid on the
list with immediate effect.
But surprisingly yesterday, we received a message from a man who
identify himself as Mr. Patrick Edward, he claims to be your cousin,
and he told us that you are dead, and he wants the approved
compensation fund to be release into his personal bank account stated
below, and Mr. Patrick Edwards also agreed to provide the CLAIMS
AFFIDAVIT and IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT CLEARANCE Papers of your
compensation fund on your behalf.
Here is his account information he provided to this office as thus
#Bank Name:1st Mariner Bank. Bank Address: 201 W Baltimore Street.
Baltimore, MD 21201 Name of Account Holder: Patrick B. Edward. Account
Number: #473-843-8484 Routing Number: #897-900
But due to our intelligence and experiences, we dishonor Mr. Patrick
Edward request, because we need to be 100% sure that you are dead,
that was why we requested Doctorâs Report to confirm before we can
proceed on releasing the funds into your mentioned cousinâs stated
bank account above, so whereby send you this message to confirm if
truly you are dead or alive, and your failure to respond back quickly
to this message within the next 48hours will leave us with no doubt
but to believe that you are dead according to Mr. Patrick Edward and
we will go ahead with the fund release to Mr. Patrick Edward account
after the receipt of the Doctors report of your death from then we
release your Funds payment to him immediately, but if you are still
alive and you receive this message, quickly get back to this office
via this my official email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Or
Whatsapp Number:+229 98481701
For security reasons endeavor to indicate this ( CODE NUMBER )
(XB/KJL141112) this code shows that you are the rightful owner of the
fund $6,500,000.00 million. You are advised to respond back with the
details required below.
Waiting urgently for re-confirmation of your beneficiary details.
(1)Beneficiary Name/Account No
(2)Bank Name and Address:
(3)Your Full Email Address:
(5) Your Whatsapp Number:
Thank you co.operation
Hon. Dr. Anthony Bashir
Whatsapp Number:+229 98481701