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:
- ",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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "sani abacha" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- +448715034981 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "First Reserve Transfer Services" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2012 21:16:51 -0400
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
I write to confess what you are presently going through with my Boss. I was a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Local and Foreign Debt attached to the World Bank office in Washington, DC, USA. I resigned my official duty when I discovered the activities of my colleagues during a private investigation I carried out.
I suspected some kind of foul play in their act which they would never inform me because they know I would never be a party to such as a Christian.
I discovered that my Boss was conniving with some top officials of the World Bank to divert funds approved to settle Lottery winners, International contractors and Inheritance. The World Bank has already given approval for the payment of your fund while they are deliberately delaying your payment.
Ms. Tracy Sansono that your Inheritance file will be forwarded to the Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria Plc Lagos for immediate payment of your Inheritance entitlement without further delay. You should be informed that this money for this payment by the Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria Plc Lagos Nigeria was mapped out from this year's Federal government Budget and the recovered funds Looted out of the Nigerian Treasury by the former Military Head of State General Sani Abacha's family Mr. James Ibori and Other Retired Army Generals.
Most importantly, your payment Can be via ATM VISA CARD or Via Telegraphic Wire Transfer To your Bank Account. You should contact me immediately you receive this e-mail and also you should reconfirm your full name, phone and fax numbers in your response to this letter.
However, we regret the inconvenience this has caused you in the past. Therefore, you should contact the Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria Plc immediately for the immediate release of your payment to you because this payment exercise will last for only seven working days from today. The fund Approval of your Payment has been forwarded to the Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria Plc Lagos for the release of your Funds.
Note: That the amount approved for payment to as payment is US$15,000,000.00 Only. Put a stop in contacting any body any where in the world for the release of this fund so that you will not have cost to regret dealing with wrong hands. You should not communicate to any one again for any reason whatsoever until further notice.
Contact the following person immediately and send to him your particulars including your phone and fax numbers.
PHENIX Financial Consults.
TEL: +44 871 503 4981
FAX: +44 870 974 9311.
Contact Person: Mr. Roland Mantu
Keep me updated as soon as you contact him. God bless....
Please Keep off from impostors before they will destroy you!
Senate President and the Chairman Senate
Committee on Debt Reconciliation & Evaluation FGN