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:
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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.
- +2348052227199 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss. Kate Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 09:21:06 -0700
Subject: SCAMMED VICTIMS COMPENSATION- REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 06654
Chief Compensation Officer
African Monetary Agency
In-collaboration with United Nations Compensation Committee
(United Nations Anti-fraud Commission)
Abuja, West Africa.
SCAMMED VICTIM/ $500.000.00 COMPENSATION- REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 06654
We are African Monetary Agency a delegate from the United Nations to Central Bank Nigeria and Ghana to pay
1000 USA,Europe and Africa and Nigerian 419 scam victims $500.000.00 each, you are listed and approved for
these payments one of the scammed victims, get back to us as soon as possible for the immediate payments of
your $500.000.00 compensations funds.
On this faithful recommendations, I want you to know that during the last UN meetings held at Washington D.C,
USA, it was alarmed so much by the rest of the world in the meetings on the lose of funds by various foreigners
to the scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world today, in other to retain the good image of this
continent, all the west African head of states of west African countries, presidents and all members of the parliament
of Ecowas states is now paying 1000 victims of this operators $500.000.00 each.
Due to the corrupt and inefficient banking systems in Africa, the payments are to be paid through USA and London
Monetary Agency, under funding assistance by the Central Bank of Nigeria and Euro Bank in London According to
the number of applicants at hand, 584 beneficiaries has been paid, half of the victims are from the United States
and Asia, we still have many left out to be paid the compensations of $500.000.00 each only.
You are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to him for any reason for whatsoever; the US
FBI secret service is already on trace of the criminals.
Contact Mr. Ronald Dickson with the details Below and And ask him to give you details on how to pay the Cost of
Transfer of Your fund into your Bank Account.
The cost of transfer will cost you just $80. Do not be deceived by anybody to pay morethan $80 for the Cost of
your fund transfer (COT).
His Name, mobile Numbers and Contact Email address is as bellow:
NAME: Mr. Ronald Dickson
TEL: 009 234 805 222 7199.
'' +234 805 222 7199.
Please send him the following details for further processing:
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm:
1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
6. Telephone Number:
8. Place of Residence:
9.Your Bank Details, and attach a scan copy of your Id.
You will receive your compensations payments via Bank to Bank transfer, I shall feed you with further modalities as soon as
you Contact Mr. Ronald Dickson.
Miss. Kate Williams
Chief Compensation Officer,
African Monetary Agency in Collaboration with United Nations Compensation Committee,
(United Nations Anti-fraud Commission),
Abuja, West Africa.