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:
- "consignment " (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Abudu Tomson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 07:04:31 -0700
RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVES ON YOUR AWAITING FUND.
I am Dr.Abudu Tomson, Pay Master General of the Federation,I Wish to
inform you that we have received authentic approval and instruction
directly from the Presidency, Federal Republic of Nigeria to pay
you,your outstanding sum.
It has become considerably emergent that we have been directed to take
this measure due to the much embarrassment being caused to certain
foreign beneficiaries and the federal republic of Nigeria due to
questionable circumstances with which some greedy officials of the
Bank's in Nigeria always request for up front payment from contractors
and beneficiries before their payment is released.
All approvals required for this payment has issued in your favour
including the original document and payment instructions already
forwarded to my office on Tuesday being 22nd of May, 2009. to enable
you receive your payment within 72hrs that you reconfirm the required
However, I will ensure that you own payment is smooth, fast and
successful.Therefore, I want you to personally identify your prefered
method of payment from the list of three methods that we execute in
this Office which are mentioned below:
1. Telegraphic Transfer (TT) which wires Funds directly to your own
2. Electronic Payment via ATM Valu Scratch card which allows you to
credit the Funds into your account by connecting the P.I.N. Electronic
Pay Voucher via your Digital telephone.
3. Delivery of Funds in CASH as Diplomatic Consignment to your address
in your country.
You are expected to REPLY URGENTLY today and let us know your most
prefered method of payment to enable this Office proceed with the
modalities of releasing the Funds in your favour. Our official
obligations ensures that there shall be NO encumberances to your Funds
remittance hence, we expect your fast response today.
Dr Abudu Tomson
Chiarman, Investigation and Debt Settlement Committee