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:
- ",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)
- 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. JAMES MORGAN" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2023 06:27:30 -0700
Subject: Dear beneficiary,
This is to officially bring to your notice regarding the recovery of
your compensation funds worth $10,500,000.00 Millions United States
Dollars with the help of the UNITED NATIONS FUNDS INVESTIGATION AGENCY
in conjunction with the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUNDS (IMF) and the
total amount of $10,500,000.00 Millions USD recovered in your name has
been pproved to be made available to you through BANK OF AMERICA ATM
VISA CARD. this will be issued to you from your account at your fund's
country of origin and linked to our bank for easy and successful ATM
transaction in your country.
This method of payment is designed by the government to avert fraud
perpetration or stoppage of fund by some agencies either through anti
terrorist certificate or other certificates. The use of the ATM Cash
card is to by-pass the rigorous documentations that has resulted in
the delays and demands for obnoxious fees by corrupt officials of
government and ensure that you receive you due payment
expeditiously.This swift credit card would be issued to you as soon as
you respond to this email
You are required to furnish this office with the following information
to enable us commence action in processing and programming your due
funds into an ATM card that would be dispatched to your address for
your use in making daily withdrawal in any ATM machine in any part of
The ATM card would be issued in your favor and all your information
will be inserted into the card. Upon completion of this issuance of
the ATM card, it would be send to you together with the access pin
number via courier to your residential address
Kindly get back to us by reconfirming your full information
Please feel free to call us immediately if there is any question
needed to be ask (International) Call at +229-59323319 OK.
Bank of America