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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "lagos" (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: "MR. TERENCE P. MCCULLEY." <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "MR. TERENCE P. MCCULLEY." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 20:29:59 +0800 (HKT)
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY
I AM MR. TERENCE P. MCCULLEY, UNITED STATE AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA, JUST IN CASE YOU DONâT KNOW ME, I WANT YOU TO CLICK THIS WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ME: http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/biography.html
THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY HAS RESOLVED ON A DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO NIGERIA ON-BEHALF OF 100 SCAM VICTIMS TO BE COMPENSATED AFTER POLICE ARRESTED SOME FRAUDSTERS IN LAGOS NIGERIA WHO MENTIONED YOUR PARTICULARS AS ONE OF THE VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
NOTE THAT AFTER MY MEETING WITH DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND OTHER HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE MEMBERS, WORLD BANK, UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF), THEY AGREED TO PAY YOU $5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION US AMERICAN DOLLARS ONLY) AS YOUR COMPENSATION.
CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR NAME WERE AMONG THE LIST TO BE PAID $5M US DOLLARS COMPENSATION PAYMENT.
ON YOUR ATTACHMENT FILE IS MY WORKING IDENTITY AND THE PICTURES OF THOSE FRAUDSTERS THAT WAS ARRESTED IN LAGOS NIGERIA BY THE POLICE.
SO RE-CONFIRM BELOW INFORMATION SO THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ANY MISTAKE:
1) YOUR FULL NAME: ---------------
2) YOUR CURRENT HOUSE ADDRESS: ---
3) CURRENT DIRECT TELEPHONE: -------------
4) OCCUPATION & AGE: -------------
AS SOON AS I RECEIVE THE INFORMATION, I WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY.
GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO SPEND HERE IN NIGERIA.
CALL ME WITH THIS NUMBER FOR MORE INFORMATION: +234-80-798-439-81
MY BEST REGARDS.
MR. TERENCE P. MCCULLEY
Ambassador Terence P. MCCulley.
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com