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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "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.
- 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. Peter Amangbo Managing Director CEO" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2017 18:10:05 -0000
Subject: Hi, dear Fund Beneficiary !.
Zenith Bank Plc.
Head Office: Plot
84 Ajose Adeogun Street
Zenith Heights, Victoria
Island Lagos, Nigeria.
Phone no: +2348051194693
From the desk of Mr. Peter Amangbo
Managing Director & CEO.
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
This is the 3rd time i am sending you this notification letter regarding to your abandoned ATM Master Card valued sum of US$7.5 Million and i have not received any positive respond from you or making a suggestion on how you wish to receive your ATM Card.
Once again; I am Mr. Peter Amangbo, the new Foreign director ATM Head of Operation Zenith Bank Plc, I resumed to this office on the 1st June 2016 and during my official research I discovered an abandoned ATM Master card valued sum of $7.5 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 our Bank management that the former director ATM head of operation who left this office some months ago withhold your card for his own personal use without knowing that his evil plans towards diverting your fund will be discovered. Now that your ATM Master card is still available and ready for your receiving, 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 but you will take care of the courier charge, hope it is cleared and accepted by you?
I dont know the courier cost of shipping the card to you. Or 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 this issue you are required to forward to me your current Name, phone number & address, where you want to receive the card to enable me find out the shipping cost to your location but we will like to see you face to face, please try if you can make it to come and get your ATM card without any charge/fee.
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.
Forward your response to my private e-mail: email@example.com
Thanks for your co-operation and i wait for your kind positive respond.
Mr. Peter Amangbo