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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "REV .Jim Ovia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 04:47:37 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Very Urgent and Important
Zenith Bank Plc Financial Planner
Address:. ACI 2000 - Imm SIPROVET - Hamdallaye
BP E 566 - Bamako - Lagos Nigeria
Online Banking Department
Very Urgent and Important
This is the 3rd time i am sending you this notification letter regarding to
your abandoned ATM Master Card valued sum of US $ 9.5 Million and i have
not received any positive respond from you or making a suggestion on how
you wishto receive your ATM Card. Once again; I am REV.Jim Ovia, the new
director ATM Head of Operation Zenith Bank Plc, I resumed to this office
on the 24th of November,2016 and during my official research I discovered
an abandoned ATM Master card valued sum of $ 9.5 Million belonging to you
as the rightfully intimate beneficiary.
I tried to know why this card has not been released to you but I was told
by the Union management that the former director ATM head of operation who
left this office four months ago withhold your card for his own personal
use without knowing that his evil plans towards diverting your fund will
Now that your ATM Master card is still available and ready for collection,
therefore you can come down here to our bank to pick up your card direct
from my office or alternatively it can be arranged ship to your address
through any registered reliable courier service company that you will take
care of the courier charge, hope it is cleared and accepted by you?
I do not know the co urier cost of shipping the card to you but if you
permit me and accept the terms, then I can make an inquiry from the
courier shipping company to find out the cost, but in that case you will
be required to forward to me your address where you want to receive the
card to enable me find out the shipping cost to your location.
Your direct telephone number and address will be needed and more details
of your ATM card payment will be made known to you as soon as I receive
your swift positive response.
YOUR FULL NAMES ..........................
YOUR ADDRESS: ............................
YOUR PHONE NUMBER ........................
CELL PHONE NUMBER ........................
YOUR OCCUPATION / POSITION HELD ..........
Do not hesitate to call me on +2348114581604 as soon as you read this mail.
Thanks for your co-operation and i wait for your kind positive respond.
REV .Jim Ovia