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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "economic financial crime 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. )
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "Barr. Tunde Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 22:34:21 +0800
Subject: YOUR FUND IS APPROVED CONATCT THE LAWYER IN CHARGE TODAY...
FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA
This to acknowledge you that your e-mail address was found among the list
of foreigner that have been scammed by Nigerian Fraudster. It might interest
you to know that we have signed an agreement with the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
during our first meeting this year with our PRESIDENT Commander In-Chief
Federal Republic of Nigeria, ALHAJI UMARU MUSA YAR'ADUA and the FBI to fight
against this and to return all contract funds that has been stolen and people
who has been scammed too.A total sum of ($15.7million) united state dollars in
cash has been set aside for compensation which will be delivered to your door
step by an accredited diplomatic courier.
Note that the only office/chamber you are to contact prior to the delivery of
your fund, is , which is currently been headed by the Bank Manager Mr Brown
Johnson. You are further advised to deal directly with him and do what so ever
you are asked to do because that is the only way you will achieve the success
in the wire of your funds to you as designated:
Endeavor to contact the chamber in charges which is currently been headed by
Barrister Tunde Williams Esq.You are further advised to deal directly with him
and do what so ever you are asked to do because that is the only way you will
achieve the success in the delivery of your funds to you as designated:
Name: Barrister TUNDE WILLIAMS(esq).
Private E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on how to make sure your fund is delivered to you, get
back with the below information:
Home address... ...................................
Any form of identification of yourself.................
Please we demand an urgent response prior to this matter and to work with us
to enable track those Miscreants and send their information to the FBI to
carry out actions in the US immediately because those Miscreants have some
agent all over the country and we are now working with the internet operation
such as YAHOOMAIL, HOTMAIL,AOL,the Nigeria police and also the Economic
Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) so that the scam can be eradicated in this
country, hence i want you to follow your fund code which below, which is given
to you by the high court of Nigeria(NG29820FGN). You are to keep this code for
Note that every beneficiary will be responsible for shipping fees which cannot
be deducted from the fund because there is a bond holding the consignment that
stated that only the sole beneficiary of the fund is permitted to open it
after it has been sealed by the foreign payment department. The shipping fee
is only $200.00usd. Also note that the federal high Court here will alert the
united state bureau and also your state police immediately your shipment leave
the shore of Nigeria so as to avoid any restriction and problem when the fund
get to its port of destination.
Barr. Tunde Williams