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:
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abuja" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: MINISTER OF FINANCE <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 02:38:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: ARE YOU AWARE OF THIS PEOPLE? PLEASE CALL ME NOW.
Federal Republic Of Nigeria
Ministry Of Finance
Dept Reconciliation Department
22nd Grace Church Street, Garki- Abuja Nigeria.
Our Ref: FRN/FMF/ABJ/0XX2/07.Â
From The Desk Of:
Minister of Finance,
FederalÂ Republic of Nigeria.
Attention: Honorable Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that arrangement has been concluded to
remit your total payment sum into your nominated bank account via
NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT INDEPENDENT REVENUE ACCOUNT. ACCOUNT withÂ STANDARD
CHARTERED BANK LONDON OR TOGO in WEST AFRICA.
Please note very carefully, Mr. John West from Ireland and his Nigerian partner Mr Kenneth Daani came to my office with a sworn affidavit to re-route your payment into a new bank account number as stated Below
Prudential Bank and Trust Co (Zamora Branch)
Account #: 4568-5457-99949.
Panda-can, Manila, Philippines.
before this is done, you are hereby requested to confirm to us without
delay the followings: If Mr. John West is one of your Directorâs as he
claimed, If you have instructed him to appoint an attorney /agent on
your behalf, If you have authorized us through your agent to issue Cash
Call Payment remittance to them on your behalf, Also confirm if you have
authorized Mr. John West to change your banking particulars as stated
with this mail.
You are advised as a matter of urgency
to confirm the legitimacy of the above claim and kindly give us reasons
why you decided to effect the above Change of Account. We have decided
to contact you because the conduct of the two men became suspicious due
to the unsatisfactory information they provided concerning this
transfer, and as a result, I decided to give them one week appointment
ahead to enable me make necessary verification from you.
Therefore, you are advised to get in touch with this office as soon as you receive this mail or you call me on 234-1-821-7260.
New Minister of Finance,
FederalÂ Republic of Nigeria.