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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "ANTHONY EZE" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 23:48:57 -0700
Subject: YOUR FUND IN OUR CUSTODY !!!!!
Dear Sir / Ma,
On behalf of the Minister of Finance and other private sectors here in Nigeria brings about this, Regular Mail Service to deliver the
Unfinished Transfer of Funds and Gratuity that is in the custody of different banks, firms and companies to the rightful owner in any
country. I am Mr. ANTHONY EZE. a representative of the federal Ministry of Finance in the Global Postal Service (GPS) unit.
Due to the fact that people are not meeting up with the required demands and amount imposed by some delivery companies, banks, firms
and other sectors and constant requirement of fees, the Minister of Finance has ordered all the courier services, banks and other firms to
release the bank drafts,cheques and ATM cards to the GPS (Regular Mail Service), So that they can be mailed out to the rightful owners,
because of the much complaints on delivery of these items.
We have recovered series of Bank Drafts,cheques and ATM Cards here already sealed and awaiting delivery. if you have ever received an
email regarding any Bank Draft,cheques and ATM Cards please contact us back as we are ready to mail them to you as directed by the Minister
of Finance here in Nigeria in the bid of rebranding Nigeria. We regret any incovienience you may have passed through in the past.
You should contact us with the emai address below
Full Names: - Mr. ANTHONY EZE
Valid Contact: - firstname.lastname@example.org
We are expecting to hear from you,
Mr. ANTHONY EZE