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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million 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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Linda Glen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 23:21:45 -0700
Subject: Beneficiary payment status
RE: IMMEDIATE COMPENSATION / BENEFICIARY PAYMENT: AV / SCBUK / FGN / MIN /22
May I humbly request for your opinion regarding the cancellation plans
of your inheritance payment of $8Million Dollars What is the rationale
behind your decision to abandon your funds after it has been approved
and programmed. On behalf of the Credit unions, Judicial council who
prompted this inquiry, I wish to categorically exonerate this office
from any blame if this fund was canceled by the end of this month as
already planned by Foreign Remittance Department.
Your silence is creating a very dangerous situation here. As at
today,I got a report from Craig Russell The Paymaster General Foreign
Remittance Department to prepare for the cancellation of your fund
since you fail to comply on transfer instructed, With due respect to
our security ethics, please why didn't you want your fund transferred
any more.My name is Ms. Linda Glen from telex department and i am the
one in-charge to make the transfer of your fund to you, we have
started making the foreign transfer since two days now, all the listed
beneficiaries along side has been paid.
Our concern is to continue to protect the interest of all investors in
the entire world. The FBI has denied the purported letter sent to
you.During our web interaction with www.fbi.gov it became clear that
the so-called letter was forged to extort money from you to sponsor
the diversion of your inheritance fund. Your stand on this issue is
being urgently awaited before 12noon time by today or tomorrow.
However, I want to inform you that your funds will be transferred to
you as soon as you're ready to work according to my directives.
Your Full Name: ______
Your Complete Address (Physical Address with Zip Code not
Name of City of Residence:______
Direct Telephone Number:______
Working Identity Card/:________
Ms. Linda Glen