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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "million 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)
- "courier company" (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.
- 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: "PRESIDENTIAL PAYMENT PROCLAMATIONS ON YOUR PAYMENT." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2014 11:51:43 -0700
Subject: PRESIDENTIAL FIAT PROCLAMATIONS ON YOUR PAYMENT/CALL ME.
>From The Desk Of: Dr.Abraham Nwankwo.
Managing Director/CEO,Debt Management Office
Head Office: Plot 1261, Adeola Hopewell Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Direct Tel: 234-8090-718221.
Presidential Fiat Payment Proclamations On Your Over Due Inheritance/Contract And Lottery Funds.
Attn: ATM Card Beneficiary
This is to officially inform and notify you that based on the Presidential Payment Fiat Proclamations (PPFP) issued yesterday Monday 8th Sept 2014 by His Excellency the President and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria Dr. Good Luck Ebele Jonathan GCFR on your long over due funds owed to you long before the inceptions of this administrations as directed to me as the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO),your Automated Teller Machine ATM Card is now uploaded and ready in your favor for onward delivery to you through my office which is the only mode of payment directed by Mr.President to release your approved sum of US$5Million only (Five Million Dollars) to you,this is the safe you the enormous cost associated with KTT Bank transfer from Africa and most importantly to save time for you as this is a Presidential Proclamations and must be adhered to immediately,your ATM Card is now ready for shipment to your designated address in your Country and below is your ATM Card details.
(1) Your Bank Account Numbers Where your ATM Card was issued from: 2741002638.
(2) Your ATM Card Numbers: 5399 4511 7526 6090.
(3) Your ATM CARD Sort Code Numbers: 569901.
Above are your ATM Card details which are conformable from the issuing bank or Oil Reserve Account Holders here in Nigeria (Zenith International Bank Plc),sequel to the above and as contained in the Presidential Proclamations you will send the US$185 ONLY (One Hundred And Eighty Five Dollars) Save Way Courier Company delivery fees to my office together with your receiving address where you want your shipment to be made,you are to send the above US$185 ONLY shipment fees through western union or money grams with the below details of my personal Secretary for confirmations and delivery without any delays as your parcel will contain both your ATM Card user manual which contains your four digits PIN Numbers and the covering documents of your ATM Card.
RECEIVERS NAME: MR.UCHE OKORO
TEXT QUESTION: COLOR
Please don't bother to respond or call me on my direct telephone as above if you are not sending the shipment fees as i will NEVER attend to you or listen to any stories from you out side the stipulated guidelines and regulations as contains in the Presidential Proclamations of yesterday,we have an agreement with Safe Way Courier Company on your shipment hence the low shipment cost of US$185,call me on my direct mobile number as thus: 234-8090-718221. if you have any questions to ask on your ATM Card or after sending the above shipment fees which is the only requirement needed from you before your shipment will be made as we have on our side taken care of other sundry expenses on your behalf that could have cost you much money and not that nobody or agency will stop your shipment while on transit that was why we used that specific courier company as above,furnish me with the your full names because that is what i will use to Activate your Card while on transit as you don't need to pay anything for that as sc
Finally give me a call as soon as you receive this official letter for more advise and please send the above shipment fees as instructed above through western union and forward to me the western union details together with your mailing address for your delivery and that ends the transactions,this is a Presidential Proclamations which you must adhere to and as i said don't bother to call or respond with you sending the official US$185 Shipment fees as i will not attend to you no matter you stories.
Urgently waiting for your call on my direct mobile as above for more advise and the shipment fees western union details including your receiving home or office address for your shipment.Note that your name was omitted for you to confirm it so that i will use it to ACTIVATE your ATM Card free of charge based on the advise of our bankers.
Debt Management Office.