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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "tax fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATIONS." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 10:15:00 -0800
Subject: CALL THE PAYMASTER GENERAL FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT.
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY.
SECREATERY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATINS(SGF)
PRESIDENTIAL VILLA ASO ROCK, ABUJA
Attn, Funds Beneficiary.
We are pleased to inform you that after the sucessful deregulations of the down stream sector of our Economy (Subsidy Removal),Mr. President, Dr.Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has sent a list of 15 outstanding foreign Beneficiaries name who has not been paid to the Paymaster Genearl of the Federations for immediate payment of approved sum of US$4.5Million of your Inheritance/Contract.Lottery payment. Further to this your name was listed among the 15 clients indebted to be paid by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Office of the Paymaster General of the Federations(PMG),note this 15 payment beneficiaries are in selected for immediate payment as the funds for your payment has been made readily available through the Paymaster General of the Federation who will release your funds as among the shortlisted beneficiaries via Bank to Bank Wire Transfer or through ATM Gold Card dependeing your preference to receive the above sum with immediat effect.
Youu are adviced to contact payment office on the information below for instruction on how to receive your above sum payment as approved and made available from the accrued funds from the Oil Subsidy funds,forward the below requested details to the below officer for your prompt payment as the funds for that has been made available through his office as the Paymaster General of the Federations.
Your full Name..
Preferred Payment Method (ATM / Bank Wire Transfer)
Bank Details for your wire transfer.
The deatils you will use to contact the Paymaster General of the Federations is as below.
Contact Person: Alhaji, Idris Abubakar
Phone Number +234-8058875754.
Finally be advised that due the Presidential Proclamations by Mr.President after the Subsidy Removal teh 15 shortlisted beneficiaries will be as a matter of urgency send to the Paymaster General of the Federations what we call SUBSIDY REMOVAL TAX fees (SRTF) of just US$380 ONLY (Three Hundred and Eighty Dollars),that is all you need to send to the Paymaster General of the Federations before he will release the above sum to you,the Subsidy fees is not deductacble and must be paid first before your funds will be released to you,so take note of teh only fees before getting intouch with the PMG for your payment hence without it your funds will not be released by him,be rest assured that once the Subsidy fees is paid by you,your approved funds will be released to you with immediate effect and at no extra cost as proclaimed by Mr.President in his speech Monday morning.
Please update my office after you have received your funds through the Paymaster General Office as instructed above.
Chief Anyim Pius Anyim
Secretary to the Government of the Federations (SGF)
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
NOTE: BE INFORMED THAT YOUR WIRE TRANSFER WILL BE MADE VIA BLUECHIP ELECTRONIC TRANSFER WHICH WILL CONFIRM IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT WITHN 24HOURS THROUGH OUR RESERVE OIL ACCOUNT HOLDERS IN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS E HAVE ALREADY GIVEN THEM SIGNAL TO THAT EEFECT.