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.
- 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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- lagos-nigeria telephone: +234 70-35207733 firstname.lastname@example.org attention mr/mrs i am mr. donald kaberuka, the president (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PLC" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 01:31:56 +0100
Subject: YOUR FUND WILL BE RELEASED TO YOU IMMEDIATELY
Rev. Donald Kaberuka,
African Development Bank Plc,
No 12 Onikan Street Lagos-Nigeria
TELEPHONE: +234 70-35207733
I am Mr. Donald Kaberuka, the President African Development Bank (ADB).
This is to bring to your notice that my office has taken over all the money transactions originated from all parts of African and European countries for Contract payments, Fund inheritance or Lottery Winning Funds due to unauthorized/incapability of financial institutions/security companies in releasing such huge sum of money due to frauds, terrorists and money Laundry activities going on world wide.
We have received an authorization to pay you the initial sum of US$4,600, 000,.00 (Four Million Six Hundred Thousand US Dollars Only) or equivalent of same in your country's acceptable currency in the event that your money is more than that. Those with less than US$4,600,000.00 will receive full payment accordingly.
The World Bank Group (WBG) has mandated the African Development Bank (ADB) via my Office to release funds to beneficiaries through certified International Cashier's Bank Draft.
Fortunately, your name appears as one of the fund beneficiaries whom their fund was successfully cleared recently from Terrorist and Money laundry verification. Now, your money will be released to you through International Cashier's Bank Draft that will be cashable from any International Bank in your country. This is so in other to avoid paying excess charges in the course of getting your money.
As regard to this arrangement, you are advised to contact the telex director Rev Kampson Lars through his direct his email; (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to issue the International Cashier's bank Draft with your complete and detailed particulars like name and your mailing address including telephone and fax numbers etc.such as -
NAME IN FULL-
CURRENT RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS-
ALTERNATIVE EMAIL ADDRESS IF ANY-
Other details concerning this payment would be made known to you upon receiving feedback from you.
Make your contact directly to Rev Kampson Lars preferrably by Email (email@example.com) any time because we are working 24 Hours to be able to meet up with the mandate given by the World Bank.
Rev. Donald Kaberuka (President)