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:
- 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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Jema Luther" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 14:04:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Coordinator, International Debt Settlement Unit
International Debt Settlement Unit,
Suite 9B Room 612, Federal Secretariat
Subject: Immediate Payment Notification
Follow up to general review of all outstanding payment by the Federal Government of Nigeria your file was once again reconsidered for remittance after few years of dormancy and inactivity in remittance. Folowing the meeting of the Federal Executive Council last week it became necessary to inform you that your payment file of $15,3 Million will be reactivated and put in good shape to enable remittance to take place.
Waver have been granted on accrued tax payment and vat, hence it was understood that you have spent huge sum of money in the past to get this remittance to your account proper. In order not to burden you with financial involvement in this matter, my office has considered it necessary to arrange a financial house that will assist you with a loan support of US$50,000 Dollars, which is the cost of involvement before the remittance will be done to your nominayed account.
This loan support when granted to you shall be returned to Central Bank of Nigeira,CBN on there direct email address firstname.lastname@example.org for the necessary documentation and other related matters before the transfer will be done to your account. It therefore became necessary that you sign an undertaken that when this loan is granted to you, you shall promptly return same to CBN for onward release of your outstanding claim.
All arrangement as to how you shall receive this loan has been concluded with the Financial house.
We use this medium to apologize on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria for the inconvenience this transfer might have caused you in the past.
I do expect your urgent response,
Coordinator, International Debt Settlement Unit