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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "Mrs Ann Ugoh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 23:56:26 +0300
Subject: Dear Friend
I am so much worried all these while that you have not received your fund after several attempt and effort with some resources being voted in.However,I have not given up effort for the actualization of your payment but my hands was tied up because of the constant problems along the line.the format Today there is a good news about your payment,there is a seminar that took place last week here in Abuja the capital of Nigeria which involves some expatriate and it happens that I met one time course make when I was undergoing my masters degree who came from Britain,it happens that we lost contact for years but as God may do it she was among the entourage who came from Britain.
I had the opportunity of explaining to her the condition of your fund starting from day one because she is a notable lawyer in Britain and works with Financial Conduct Authority in UK and their solicitor,the lady told me that it will be difficult for you to receive the fund from Africa direct to your account/country because of high corruption and undeveloped financial practice in Africa, she advised me that the best way you can be paid is that she will send an application to (AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK LAGOS NIGERIA) on behalf of Financial Conduct Authority London and the fund will be directed to UK under the authority of FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY BACKED UP WITH UNITED NATIONS as an entity. She said that this arrangement will not cost you money for your fund to be in UK with F.C.A and F.C.A will immediately move the fund to you she said that no organization can ever interfere hence the Financial Conduct Authority is involved, so
I have forwarded all your information to the lawyer in London and she have been in contact with (AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK LAGOS NIGERIA) the god news now is that the lawyer contacted me yesterday confirming to me that your fund is with Financial Conduct Authority in London,but she said that she will contact you first before F.C.A .
Her information is:
Name: Barrister Adrienne Page.
Please wait for her email and let me know as soon as you hear from her by forwarding her message to me,I can give you 100% assurance that you will receive your fund this time so kindly work with her.You can equally send her message regarding to this update as you know that such lawyer may be so busy.
Mrs Ann Ugoh