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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "From Debt Reconciliation Office" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 May 2013 14:52:36 -0500
Subject: CONFIRM THE DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM CARD Awaiting Your Response
>From Debt Reconciliation Office
Review unit EFCC
Tel: +234 8108225411
This is to inform you that arrangement is going on to ensure quick and smooth release of this US$10.5M in your favor.You are requested to send $95.00 for renewal of your transfer file which will facilitate
immediate conclusion of this payment of US$10.5M in your favor.The only thing causing delay and hindrance in releasing this US$10.5M in your favor is the required fee, note your fund will be released once
you comply to the tone of this mail.your over due payment is ready to be released in your favor, and also note Government has placed transfer Seal in your payment so all that is required to release this US
$10.5M is the needed fee you are ask to send.On behalf of my Government i urge you to send this fee immediately you receive this mail to empower my Government grant this seal to be effective which will
permit United States Authorities to released the approved fund to you in the next 24 banking-hours after you send the needed US$95.00 .Federal Government is here to re-assure you that you will not
experience any hitches or delay once you send this fee today.so kindly comply with arrangement by sending this fee with below Information to enable quick completion of this arrangement.
BELOW IS THE INFORMATION YOU WILL USE TO SEND THE FEE VIA WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER:
Name Of Reciever:................. DENNIS ALIMI
Text Question:..................In God ?
send the mtcn as soon as the fee is sent and reconfirm your information for urgent release of US$10.5M to take place immediately. also if you want this US$10.5M to be released to you via ATM CARD kindly
reconfirm your mailing address. but you if prefer bank to bank transfer you are to reconfirm your banking details.
And once again you are advice to refunish us with this vital details that we can use to get in touch with you as soon as possible
provide the information below to enable Us prepare your ATM Master Credit Card including your pin to access it.
(1)YOUR FULL NAME.
(2)YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS.
(3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
Barrister Larry Gold
For: Reconciliation Office Review unit EFCC