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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "robert mueller" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real FBI will not tell you to contact some email address. If you are in any doubt, contact an FBI field office via www.fbi.gov. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "WORLD BANK COMPENSATIONS PAYMENT." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 11:48:53 -0800
Subject: ARE YOU A SCAM VICTIM?CALL ME URGENTLY.
WORLD BANK AFRICA REGIONAL OFFICE,NIGERIA
World Bank Plaza,PLOT.2378 ADEOLA ODEKU,STR,V/I.LAGOS
United Nations/World Bank Scam Victims Compensations Payment Advise/Are You a Scam Victims?
Attn: Scam Victim.
My name is Dr.Anderson Smith an American citizen, I am the Director of Payment World Bank African Regional Office. I am contacting you based on your Compensations payment sum of US$1Million which i have been delegated by the World Bank/ United Nation Secretary general Mr. Ban Ki-Moon to pay to you with immediate effect following the out come of the General Assembly Meeting held last December in the United States with the incumbent president of Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr.Good Luck Jonahan and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission ( EFCC) New Chaiman Ibrahim Larmode and the FBI Director Robert Mueller because of reports and counter reports of fraud and scam victims which your name was among the victims and has been short listed to be compensated with the sum of US$1Million(One Million Dollars) from the UN Escrew Account with the World Bank which i have been mandated to release to you with immediate effect via the issuance of an International Certified Cashiers Chequ!
e of the above sum in your name an
Note that your International Certified Cashiers Cheque will be issued in your full name and favour as soon as you respond to this letter with the below requested details,be informed that the cashiers will be guaranteed by the UN/World bank hence it will clear in your bank within 24hours of lodgement over your bank counter with immediate effect as it is guaranteed by the United Nations/World Bank and the FBI.
Reconfirm the below details for your immediate Compensations Payment.
Address of home/office.
Land/cell phone number.
A copy of your identification Country:
Finally do respond to this emergency letter if you are a scam victims either from Africa/Asia/Europe or America and do not respond if you are not a Scam victim as Microsoft with FBI and the Homeland Security has vetted all internet victims and submitted them to us for urgent payment through International Cashiers Cheque or via ATM Debit Master Card as you the victim might wish to receive this compensations but not by Bank Wire Transfer to avoid you been scammed again by the banks as we will only write a Cashoers Cheque in your name and favour for immediate cashment from your bank or any other payment around the globe hence the cheque will be issued in your name through the United Nations account which is universally acceptable in over 159 countries round the world.
Call my office for the immediate paymen of your compensations payment if you are a scam victim.Note that the World Bank and the United Nations will cover the cost for the Processing and Insurance fees of your Certified Cashiers Cheque/ATM Debit Master Card as we know that you cannot be able to pay that as a scam victim,but you the victim will cover the COURIER cost for the delivery of your Cashiers Cheque or ATM Master Card which has been highly subsidized to enable you raise it urgently hence that is all the requirement needed from you.dont respond if you will not comply the simple instructions and arrangement of sendng the courier fees for the delivery of your ATM Master Card or Certified Cashiers Cheque depending on your preferences.
World Bank Regional,Director.