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:
- 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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. David Mark" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 16:12:58 +0100
Subject: TRANSACTION UPDATE VERY URGENT.
FROM THE DESK OF DR DAVID MARK
SENATOR OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
FOREIGN DEBT FUND
How are you today? I am Dr. David Mark Senator Of Federal Republic Of Nigeria, I am delighted to inform you that this panel which just concluded it's Seating today in Abuja just released your name among beneficiaries that Has not received their payment and this time it will be paid to you via Diplomatic Courier serves. Or wire Transfer
Did you authorize one Mr. David Williams? Who presented document of claim purported to have signed by you for the release of your part-payment of US$18.5 million only? Please reconfirm back to me to avoid any irregularities as your payment is now ready to be transferred (based on urgent instructions received this morning from the presidency office.). Based on that you have been advised not to respond to any mail or fax Concerning your fund from anybody who claim to be your agent as your Transfer will be ready at the soonest time to be delivered immediately by the authority of this office.
Kindly re-confirm to me the followings:
1) Your full name.
2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) Company name, position and address.
4) Profession and Age.
With regards to your fund you are advised to follow-up instructions only from This office the above is your payment number (CBN/IRD/CGX/NNPC/021/2018) any mail or faxes with out your payment numbers.
I am waiting to hear from you as urgency required.
Dr. David Mark
Senator Federal Republic Of Nigeria.