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:
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Megamail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Mansur Muhktar" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 05:51:05 -0700
Subject: FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE./Your Approved Fund.
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
P.M.B. 14, Garki, Abuja.
Official E-mail: email@example.com
Dated This Day: 12th of October,2009.
I, Dr Mansur Muhtar,Newly Elected Minister Of Finance Fed. Rep. Of Nigeria do like to inform you that your approved fund valued USD$10.5 Million has now gain interest of USD$5Million making the
total of USD$15.5 Million,you are advise to respond immediately for the processing and immediate release of your fund,Your name was on our payment FILE marked "X" and it was discovered that you
have not been paid in all your attempt to receive these fund by the past administration of the
former President .Olusegun Obasanjo Aremu.
You are lucky because your file has been recognised and your payment was approved yesterday by
the President,Meanwhile you must stop whatsoever contact you have with those "IMPOSTER" and make
sure you forward their emails to me immediately.
In the last six month eighty two beneficiaries were paid and it remains Forty eighty (48) Foreign
Beneficiaries that will receive their fund before these month of September will come to an end
,most beneficiaries are from USA,CANADA,AUTRALIA,GERMANY AND JAPAN.
Failure to respond immediately,means that there is no way on EARTH you will be able to receive
these fund anymore.These is your permanent CODE:2009/USD$15.5MILLION/CONFIRM.You are advise to
use it as subject when reponding to my email for urgent attention to be given to you.
Kindly Provide the following details for immediate actions to be carried out:
1:Your full names:
2:Your present address:
3:Your age and sex:
6:Scanned copy of your I.D:
As soon as i re-confirm your present details,i will prepare a letter of release on your behalf
and forward it to the payment bank that will carry out the transfer of your fund directly to you.
Hon. Dr Mansur Muhtar.
The Honourable Minister of Finance,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.