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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found 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.
- +2348033347436 (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SENATOR GEORGE HARUNA IBRAHIM" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 20:49:59 +0200
Subject: RELEASE OF YOUR INHERITANCE AND WINNING FUND VALUED $8.7
OFFICE OF THE SENATE HOUSE
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
(RESOLUTIONPANEL / INHERITANCE AND WINNING PAYMENT)
Our Ref: FGN /SNT/STB
Attn: Honorable Beneficiarys.
We, the entire members of the Federal House of Senate, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigerian Government, under the auspices of the civilian Head of State, President UMARU MUSA YAR'ADUA PRESIDENT NIGERIA and the Senate President, DAVID MARK held a meeting last week concerning payment, both foreign and local contractors and some inheritance funds/ Winning Payment.
On going through files yesterday, we discovered that your file was dumped untreated. So at this juncture, we apologize for the delay of your payment and you should please stop further communicating with any offices now and pay attention to the appointed office below for immediate release of your overdue fund. Now you are directed to contact the Office of the Paymaster General (Union Bank of Nigeria) April Munyon immediately so that your fund valued US$8.7M will be transfer to your bank account. Contact him now and inform him that you received an email from The Federal House of Senate Federal Republic of Nigeria, instructing you to forward you information for immediate transfer of your approved fund. You have to send the details information to him for the transfer.
MR. APRIL MUNYON.
POSITION: DIRECTOR, INTL,REMMITTANCE UNION BANK OF NIGERIA.
INFORMATION REQUEST FOR YOUR TRANSFER.
1) YOUR FULL NAME:
2) FULL ADDRESS OF YOUR CITY, STATE AND COUNTRY:
3) PHONE, FAX AND MOBILE:
4) COMPANY NAME, POSITION AND ADDRESS:
A) BANK NAME:
B) BANK ADRESS:
C) ACCOUNT NUMBER:
D) SWIFT CODE/
E) ROUTING NUMBER:
F) IBAN NUMBER
G) PROFESSION, AGE AND MARITAL STATUS:
H) A COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE
NOTE: We have mounted our security network to monitor every in-coming call, if we still find out that you are still dealing with all those fraudsters that have been frustrating the release of your fund, we shall stop and cancel your payment immediately we receive such information that you are still in contact with them .This message is delivered by Koffor Darko Williams, Chief Press Secretary to SENATOR GEORGE HARUNA IBRAHIM on payment matters.
SENATOR GEORGE HARUNA IBRAHIM
Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Payment
(Federal Republic of Nigeria)