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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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.
- +2348058005056 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: mrsjoylopez <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2009 20:15:31 +0200 (SAST)
Subject: FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC, TRY TO RECEIVE YOUR $3.1 MILLION DOLLARS
FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC.
10 AGO STREET, MARINA LAGOS,
NIGERIA, TELEGRAM: FIRST JOINT BRANCH
>From Mrs. Joy Lopez Director First Bank of Nigeria Plc, I had an informationâs that your $3.1 million dollars was canceled by so called United Kingdom Drug Agency because of some fee you did not pay.
Moroever:Do not mind them that is all they do and I here that you have spent a lot of money in getting your fund transfer, I was angry when I had that you have sent closed to $5,000.00 dollars in getting your $3.1 million dollars,this two men just donât want to tell you the truth of your fund , so called Rev. Mark Duru and so called Dr. Tony Akins is only want your money to go like that , I was looking for your email contact so that I will contact you and tell you what this people is doing to you but I canât fine your email contact with them, I will like you to stop dealing with this two people so that you will receive your fund from me , because of what this two men done to you so I called a meeting regarding your matter , I have approved your fund to be wire in your account, I will like you to surprise that so called Rev. Mark Duru with so Call Dr. Tony Akins, stop communicating with them for now so that you will have your fund receive.
What I need from you (1) you will pay $100 dollars for your 2009 Access Release Pin-code (2) send me your Account Informationâs, (3) send me your Drivers Lances (4) send me your telephone number, I assure you %100 you will surprise those two men that criminal your money, by the time I will transferred your fund in your account we can join hands together and deal with them.
I will be waiting those informationâs from you so that I will start my professional job immediately.
Mrs. Joy Lopez
Director transfer first Bank of Nigeria plc