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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- ",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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- telephone: +234-813-154-32 tel/fax: +234-1-78-7093 email: firstname.lastname@example.org hello dear friend, i am sending this letter to (Mail2webmaster; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MALLAM FAROUK LAWAN, (HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN)" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 14:21:23 -0500
Subject: DEAR FRIEND I NEED YOUR HELP 76
>From the Desk of MALLAM FAROUK LAWAN, (HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN)
Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime Monitoring
Hello Dear Friend,
I am sending this letter to you based on information gathered from the
foreign trade office in the chamber of commerce and industry; I
believe you would be in a position to help me in my bid to transfer
the sum of FIFTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATED DOLLARS ONLY (USD55,
000,000.00) into a foreign account. Please understand one thing that
this is not a scam letter or any sort as everyone in the international
communities sees everyone from this part of the world as a thief,
impostor or criminal.
I am the Chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on
Fuel Subsidy Regime Monitoring. This Committee is principally
concerned with Contract Appraisals and Monitoring of Contracts in
order of priorities as regards Capital Project of the Federal
Government of Nigeria.
With my position, I have successfully secured for myself the sum of
FIFTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS
(USD$55,000,000.00). This amount was accumulated through undeclared
windfall from sale of BULK Crude Oil. What I need from you is to
provide a safe account into which the funds will be transferred since
government officials are not allowed by law to operate foreign
I have agreed that the owner of the account which is you will be
compensated with (33%) of the remitted funds, I kept (65%) while (2%)
will be set aside to offset expenses and pay necessary Taxes.
I need a reliable and trust worthy person or a reputable Company to do
business with hence this letter to you, so if you can prove yourself
to be trusted and interested in this deal, then I am prepared to do
business with you.
What I want from you is the assurance that you will let me have my
share when this amount of (US$55 Million) is transferred into your
account. If this proposal satisfies you, please send me an email in
receipt to your response so I can advice you on the modalities of the
Please this money will be transfer to you as one of the contractor
fund beneficiary owing by Federal Government
1. Full name................. Country.............. Contact
address......., Telephone& Fax number.........., Marital
status.........., Occupation & Position..............,
All modalities of the transfer have been worked out and once started
will not take more than 14 working days with the absolute support of
all concerned. This transaction is 100% risk free. Please treat this
as a matter of urgency and very confidential.
I will submit all the necessary letter from my office to the AFRICAN
DEVELOPMENT BANK the payee bank indicating your name as one of the
fund beneficiary which payment is overdue they will carry on the
transfer as soon as you submit your information as listed above
You can reach me on my Direct Mobile +2347080988136 so that we can
discuss more on this transaction and to know your seriousness.
God be with you as I look forward to your response.
Mallam. Farouk Lawan (HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN)
Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime Monitoring
NNPC Towers Nigeria.
NB: IF YOU ARE NOT CAPABLE OR INTERESTED OF HANDLING THIS OR NOT READY
TO WORK WITH ME, PLEASE DELETE THIS MESSAGE AND DO NOT BOTHER TO WRITE