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:
- 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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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: ACCESS BANK PLC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 17:16:45 +0100
Subject: Immediate Release Of Your Funds Worth US$10.5 Million.
ACCESS BANK OF NIGERIA PLC
96/102, Broad Street,
PMB 12807, Lagos-Nigeria.
Tel: +234 8071308693
Immediate Release Of Your Funds Worth US$10.5Million.
I am Mr. Victor Etukwu Manager Director Access Bank Nig. PLC; I am
going by series of petition received from International bodies on the
way beneficiary's inheritance fund was handled by our affiliate office
of Access Bank. After extensive close door meeting with Board of
Directors and other Stake holders in the Government, Subcommittees
of the House Of Assembly and the House of Rep, Federal Republic of
Nigeria and the United Nation.
It has been resolved and agreed that your Inheritance Payment Fund
will be release through ATM Visa Card or By Diplomatic Cash Delivery,
this method of payment is designed by the Government to avert fraud
perpetration or stoppage of fund by any agency. This Visa ATM Card
would be issued to you upon meeting with the Bank Requirement
The ATM Visa Card would be delivered to you via a Courier Service. In
the light of this aforementioned, you are required to reconfirm again
to this office with the following information if different from the
one we already have
Full legal name:
Full contact address:
Copy of your Valid Identification:
Occupation and Position:
This information's would be used in opening an account for the
issuance of the Visa Card in your name and all your information will
be inserted into the card. Upon completion of the issuance of the VISA
CARD, It would be send to the physical Address you provided to us.
Please confirm receipt of this message and also you are advice to stop
all communication with other offices regarding your PAYMENT from
Access Bank, I shall forward to you all the relevant documentation of
this payment from United Nation and World Bank and approval from the
President Jonathan E. Goodluck.
Kindly confirm this message and get back to me as soon as possible or
you can call me on my Direct Line +234 8071308693 ; for better
Thanks for working with us and we wait to hearing from you.
Mr. Victor Etukwu.
Head Of ATM Dept Access Bank Nig, PLC
This Email is intended for the named recipient only and may contain
privileged and confidential information. If you have received this
email in error, please notify us immediately. Please do not disclose
the contents to anyone or copy it to outside parties. Thank you.