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:
- 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 advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Lisa Edward" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 05:34:48 -0400
Subject: NOTIFICATION FOR RELEASE OF $10.5M
NOTIFICATION FOR RELEASE OF $10.5M
This letter is written to you in order to change your life from today. I
am Mrs. Lisa Edward new director, international remittance department of this Bank.My boss Mr
Jacob M Ajekigbe, the MD/ CEO of this Bank is now on compulsory leave and
all power has been vested on me to make all international payment.
Furthermore due to allegations of corrupt practices against other Nigeria
Banks, the Federal Government of Nigeria has appointed this Bank to effect
all foreign overdue payment.
Be informed that the Federal Government have Approved the release of
$10.5M which has been in this Bank for many years UNCLAIMED. My boss in
collaboration with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have
refuse to tell you the truth on how to claim your fund.This is because
they have been using the interest accumulated from your fund every year to
enrich themselves without your knowledge. I want to help you PULL OUT this
fund to your Bank ccount today using the easiest and quickest method which
has not been known to you before. By this method a Domiciliary Account
will be opened for you in our Bank.
A domiciliary account is a secure account which we will open for you in
our Bank and Credit your payment of $10.5M for further credit into your
account.The essence of this Domiciliary account is to secure and protect
your payment from being diverted by fraudulent people or making payment to
a foreign account which do not belong to you.The greatest advantage is
that you can instruct us to credit your nominated account bit by bit with
small amount thereby saving yourself from the trouble of Financial
Authority in your country who monitor large transfer due to current trend
of terrorism. Another beauty of the domiciliary account is that you can
retain the balance left in your account in our Bank and can also instruct
us to pay out money to any Bank of your choice in the world, or issue you
an ATM Card which you can use in any part of the world when on a business
I hope you now understand the advantages of a Domiciliary account and why
you need this account to receive your payment of $10.5M now in our
Bank.... You are advice to forward as a matter of urgency your full
banking coordinate, direct telephone and Fax number and your contact
address as we have started the process of the account for you. Call me on
so that I will issue you a payment release code which must be given to you
personally on telephone strictly for security reason. This code is very
important and it is what you will use to confirm your payment.
Mrs. Lisa Edward