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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Morris Elofu" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 11:52:59 -0700
Subject: DIRECTIVES ON YOUR AWAITING FUND REPLY.
DIRECTIVES ON YOUR AWAITING FUND REPLY.
I am Dr.Morris Elofu,Pay Master General of the Federation,I wish to inform you that we have received authentic approval and instruction directly from
our president,Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar Adua(GCFR)Federal Republic of Nigeria to pay you,your outstanding Inheritance Sum.
It has become considerably emergent that we have been directed to take this measure due to the much embarrassment being caused to certain foreign
beneficiaries and the federal republic of Nigeria due to questionable circumstances with which some greedy officials of the Bank's in Nigeria
always request for up front payment from contractors and beneficiaries before their payment is released.
All approvals required for this payment has issued in your favour including the original document and payment instructions already forwarded to my
To enable you receive your payment within 72hrs that you reconfirm the required details.However,I will ensure that you own payment is smooth,fast
and successful.Therefore,I want you to personally identify your preferred method of payment from the list of three methods that we execute in this
Office which are mentioned below:
1..Telegraphic Transfer(TT) which wires Funds directly to your own bank account.
2.Electronic Payment via ATM Value Scratch Card.
3.Delivery of your fund to your location and to your home doorstep at your country.
You are expected to reply urgently today with your requested information bellow and let us know your most preferred method of payment to enable this
Office proceed with the modalities of releasing ofyour Funds in your favour also you are adviced to send to this office your direct contact information
including your Cell Phone Number.
Chairman,Investigation and Debt Settlement Committee