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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "African Development Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 21:55:44 +0200
Subject: Payment Notification
I am Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank PLC (ADB), I am officially writing this message to inform you that my office has Taking over
all the money Transaction originated from any part Of African, Europe, American and Asia Counties as Contract payment, Fund Inheritance or Lottery Winning due to excessive demand of up Front payment by corrupt officials of Apex Banks and some Security companies as reported by the International Community,Subsequently, the World Bank Group has Mandated this Bank via my office to release funds to approved Fund beneficiaries through Bank to Bank wire transfer or Diplomatic Delivering, Hence Your Name/Email address appears as one of the approved fund beneficiaries who has not receive even part payment whom their fund was Successfully cleared recently from Terrorist and Money laundry, therefore your money has resolved to be Released to you through Bank to Bank Wire Transfer alternatively Diplomatic Delivery on your contact to our Account Officer, Mr. Peter Uzor through his Telephone +234-704-153-4318, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On this process you are advised to forward your direct telephone numbers, complete name and mailing address to Mr. Peter Uzor for immediate release of your fund to you, Note that Ten Million Dollars Only (US10,000,000.00) was allocated to you, Be also informed That the Fund Approvals and Authorization document was issued in your name and has been handed over to Mr. Peter Uzor.
Finally, you are advised to dissociate from any way you may have been posture to receive this money no matter your commitment to avoid
Miss information and excessive demand of further upfront payment, the account officer Mr. Peter Uzor is standby to receive your communication
and release your fund to you without further Delay, Make your contact directly to Mr. Peter Uzor
Thanks for Your Cooperation.
Dr. Donald Kaberuka
President African Development (ADB)