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:
- "security keeping fee" (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. )
- "million dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "economic and financial crimes commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "farida mzamber waziri" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- 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.
- +2348054854200 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Alex Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 20:43:47 -0700
Subject: ATM COMPENSATION CARD WORTH US$2,000,000.00
Let me start by introducing myself I am Mr. Alex Smith, I was directed by Umaru YAR'ADUA President of Federal republic of Nigeria and the chairman Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Farida Mzamber Waziri (Mrs.), to notify you on the investigation that took place here in Nigeria.
In regards with the investigation that has happened recently here in Nigeria will noticed that you are dealing with some Nigerians and other person(s) who
claimed you have money with them and they have failed to make you get the money and you lost so much money during the process, I am currently paying so many
people with the same problem, so I have been directed by the Nigeria government and United Nations UN to pay you also but due the late registration of your
name on the list of the people I have to pay, I will not be able to pay you much because of insufficient fund, so I will only pay you $2,000,000.00 (Two
Million dollars only) as compensation to what has happened to you.
I have prepared an ATM CARD on your name and I will advice you to contact the dispatcher to enable him send the ATM CARD to your home below is the contact
information of the dispatcher, make sure you contact him and get the ATM CARD.
Find below his contact information.
Mr. Giwa Thomas.
Citizen International Bank Plc.
Telephone Number: +234-8054854200
The only money you will send to the Citizen International Bank Plc to deliver your ATM CARD direct to your postal Address in your country is $250.00 US
Dollars only being Security Keeping Fee. Again don't be deceived by anybody to pay any other money except $250.00 US Dollars. I would have paid that but they
said no because they don't know when you will contact them and in case of demurrage.You have to contact the Citizen International Bank Plc now for the
delivery of your ATM CARD.
Finally make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and ask them to give
you the tracking number to enable you track your package over there and know when it will get to your address. Let me repeat again try to contact them as
soon as you receive this mail to avoid any further delay and remember to pay them their Security Keeping fee of $250.00 US Dollars for their immediate
(1) Your Full Name :
(2) Your Address where you want the payment centre to send your Cheque:
(3) Phone And Fax Number:
(4) Age and Occupation:
(5) Your Nearest International AirPort in your City of residence:
Note: The government of Nigeria as seized monies from everybody and cooperate bodies that has participated on the issue. We seize this opportunity to also
warn that anyone or cooperate bodies caught bringing the name of the country to disrepute will be firmly dealt with within the ambits of the law. So you are
advice to disregard any email you get from anyone or co-operate bodies and forward the email to us for proper conduct.
On behalf of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, we are truly sorry for the inconveniencies and for what you encounter from the Nigerians that
make you lost so much money please speak well about Nigeria in your country as soon as you get this ATM card.
Mr Alex Smith.