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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "high court" (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.
- 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: " Dr. Benson Idika Benson" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 07:45:14 -0700
Subject: PAYMENT OF YOUR OVER DUE FUND THROUGH DEDUCTION
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY,
DIRECTOR DUE PROCESS UNIT
OLD SENATE BUILDING TBS, GHANA.
PAYMENT OF YOUR OVER DUE FUND THROUGH DEDUCTION
Following directives and mandate this office received in respect of your over-due contract/inheritance fund claim valued at $40million, I am delighted to inform you that your name was in the pay roll on the schedule of payment on the category you belong . Now we are trying to recall back the schedule and in the system, we were made to understand you have not receive your fund, very dishearten that you have not received your fund because in your payment schedule roll, other contractors short listed along side with your name have received their fund since. This made you to benefit from this new payment policy through deduction method.
When we cross examine into our computer diskette analysis data bank we discovered that you have not been paid for this reason your name has been short listed among other contractors whose fund has been over due for payment, who will benefit for deduction payment policy newly introduced.
Therefore, a WAIVER FORM QZ would be sent to you for deduction certificate on your quick response to this mail.. As soon as this certificate is obtained which is for payment free, all necessary upfront payment charges will be deducted from your fund. The certificate is obtainable from the office of Mr. president at ACCRA GHANA.
AS soon as this certificate is obtained, it will be taken to high court justice for legal seal agreement stamp for notarization(this implies that you are in affirmative agreement with the Government to deduct all necessary fees from your fund). Now this certificate will be taken to the ministry of finance for endorsement which will be later directed to the accountant- general of the federation who will carry out the deduction exercise before it moves to the auditor- general of the federation for proper auditing and checks. At this stage, the ministry will over see the deduction before it will be taken to the paying bank for electronic telegraphic wire transfer.
If you can adhere to my instructions and directives this fund will be confirmed into your account within the next five (5) working days. Contact me at my e-mail email@example.com
We urge your maximum co-operation as we are obliged to serve you better and to restore back lost hope to you, thanks.
Dr. Benson Idika Benson
Director, Due Process Unit