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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- 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.
- +447092982785 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Senator Ibrahim Mantu" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 08:24:14 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: RESOLUTION PANEL ON FINANCIAL CRIMES & MONEY LAUNDERING
THE THREE ARMS ZONE
RESOLUTION PANEL ON FINANCIAL CRIMES & MONEY LAUNDERING
Ref: FGN/NAS/AGF/CBN//09 ACT 1 VOL. IV
Category .A. Beneficiary
We have been briefed by the HSBC Kentish branch through a letter sent to
us signed by Mr. Kevin Lambert. We have been informed of the modalities
given to you through the UN office in London signed by Ambassador Nelson
Clark in order to complete transfer of your payment. You have to follow
the directives of Ambassador Nelson Clark because if you fail, we will not
be concerned with whatever that happens to your payment allocation. You
have dealt with so many corrupt people in the past and we are aware of it
If you know that you wish to get paid after the long delay, do as we have
advised you. You refusal to adhere to instruction means you are not
willing and prepared to receive your money, period. The United Nations
(Ambassador Nelson Clark - Tel: 44 709 298 2785 -
firstname.lastname@example.org) will not force you to follow their
instruction because they even need your money for humanitarian services
and they will expect you to abandon the money with them. Dealing with any
other person(s) aside Ambassador Nelson Clark as you have been directed is
all up to you and you have to be prepared to face any anomaly you
encounter for not adhering to our directives.
Finally, without following due process; you will never get this payment
released to you.
Senator Ibrahim Mantu
Senate Committee (FGN)