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:
- 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:
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: "Mr. Hafiz Abubakar Ringim" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 14:30:50 +0300 (EEST)
Attn: Dear Beneficiary,
May you remain favored.
I am ( Mr. Hafiz Abubakar Ringim ) the Inspector General of The Nigeria
Police Force (NPF). We received a letter this morning from the Central
Bank of Nigeria informing us that, they received your Part Payment of
US$750 which you sent through Mr. Allen Smith and Mrs. Cynthia Edward from
These individuals claim to be your representatives, they presented a DEATH
CERTIFICATE on your behalf stating that, you are DEAD and before you
passed away you instructed them to come and claim your fund for you, as
the rightful beneficiary.
Below is the account details which they provided and instructed the Bank
to transfer your fund valued US$14,500,000.00 into:
Bank Name: BANK OF AMERICA (BOA)
Bank Address: 2075 S. Victoria Ave Ventura, CA 93003
Bank Phone Number: 800 788 7000
Account Name: Mr. Allen Smith.
ABA # 322271627
Acct # 1951204345
If you did not send them, you are required to provide us with the below
information (for official verification) via email:
1. Your Full Name;
2. Your Age and Occupation;
3. Marital Status;
4. Direct Telephone/Fax Number;
5. Home and Office Address:
7. How much have you previously invested or lost?
As soon as we receive the requested information from you, we are going to
forward it to the Bank where you will be directed for your fund to be
released to you. This is in line with the latest Presidential release as a
result of numerous petitions by International Comity/United Nations/
European Union/ Federal Bureau of Investigation/ Homeland Security etc on
how people are hiding here (in Nigeria) to perpetrate this evil act and
rubbishing the image of our dear country.
F: Mr. Hafiz Abubakar Ringim
I.G, Nigeria Police Force (NPF)