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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found 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.
- 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)
- nigeria. telephone: 234-8090-718221. email:firstname.lastname@example.org attn: atm master/visa card beneficiary. sir. this is to (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM DR.JAMES OBIORA,ECONOMIC ADVISER TO MR.PRESIDENT" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:59:30 -0700
Subject: CONTACT JOHNSON BRIGGS IN VIRGINIA,UNITED STATES FOR YOUR ATM CARD.
Office Of The Presidency.
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
>From The Desk Of: Dr.James Obiora.
Executive Director of Budgets and Planning.
Plot 8117,Ecowas Street,Maitama,
Attn: ATM Master/Visa Card Beneficiary.
This is to inform your officially that the Federal Government of Nigeria through the highest body Office of the Presidency have released your over due funds through an Automated ATM Global Master Card worth the sum $5.5million and as well dispatched your ATM Master Card from Nigeria since last week Friday to our United States Offshore Center in Norfolk,Virginia,United States of America of which our Offshore ATM Director Mr.Johnson Briggs have confirmed the receipt of your parcel (ATM CARD) as sent to him today in Norfolk,Virginia,United States for onward mailing and delivery to your address in your Country from United States there instead of from Nigeria directly to you for Security reasons and safety of your funds as uploaded in your ATM Card.
Sequel to the above now you are as matter of urgency to contact our US Offshore ATM Card payment Director so that your ATM CARD will be delivered to you as he will guide and direct you on the final step of making your shipment and claiming your ATM Card to you,we took this step to avoid fraud or delays in delivery of your card based on the previous delays in you receiving your funds,SECURITY ALERT,please note that i Dr James Obiora intentionally withhold your ATM CARD Cash withdrawals four Digits Personal Identifications Numbers (PIN CODE) ,this is to secure your funds as credited and loaded in your ATM Card and i will release it directly to you ONLY once you have confirmed the receipt of your card from Mr.Johnson Briggs in Virginia,this is a security measure too hoping that you will understand that,use the below details to contact our Virginia Offshore Payment Center through the Director for the mailing of your ATM Card without delays as he will advise you on the process and procedures once you contacted h
Contact Person: Mr. Johnson Briggs.
Executive Director Nigeria Offshore ATM Card Payment Center United States Of America.
Address In United States:11325 Random Hills Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030, United States.
Finally as a matter of urgency do update my office as soon as you must have obtain your ATM GLOBAL MASTER CARD from Mr.Johnson Briggs in Virginia as instructed above to enable me erase and delete your name from the file of unpaid ATM Card beneficiaries as Mr.Johnson Briggs has confirmed the receipt of your parcel(ATM MASTER CARD) as sent to him for onward delivery and shipment to your home or office address which you must send to him in any part of the World,please note that we took this measure in other to secure and safeguard your ATM Card because shipping it directly to you from Nigeria here will be difficult as impostors and scammers that are trailing your payment might intercept it while on transit thereby diverting your legitimate funds as we don't want any stories or delays again in you receiving your ATM Card as uploaded and delivered to our Offshore Payment Center in Virginia,United States and for onward delivery to your mailing address from Virginia instead of Nigeria,BE WARNED and ACT FAST now,thi
Dr.James Desmond Obiora.
Executive Director Budget and Planning
Office of the Presidency,Aso Rock,Abuja.