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:
- 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)
- "inheritance funds" (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)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM THE DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE NIGERIA" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 01:16:27 -0800
Subject: REPLY AND CALL URGENTLY ON PHONE.
>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.
Be advised that the Debt Management Office (DMO) the only Government Agency saddled with the responsibility of settling all debts owed to both our local and foreign beneficiaries of there due funds which am the Director General has been mandated and instructed by Mr.President to expressly release and pay all outstanding debts owed to our foreign beneficiaries and contractors including inheritance funds beneficiaries of which you fall into this category funds recipient to the tune of US$8.5Million (Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars)only based on the current end of year budgetary approvals by the National Assembly,this came as a result of the February 2015 National Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections which the major oppositions party in Nigeria (All Progressive Congress) are suing that to blackmail the Government and as well curry favor against the Federal Government and the ruling Party (Peoples Democratic Party) to win the sympathy from the electorates of which Mr.President is not finding tha
Furtherance to the above now please note that i have obliged the above Presidential directives and commence the Verifications of your payment file for your payment but to my chagrin an have a very conflicting and confused reports from our Apex Bank (Central Bank of Governor)through the Governor who is presenting a contrary report and information's on your payment indicating that you have received your funds while my own file and that presented by Mr.President is on the contrary hence am confused now,so as a matter of urgency i want you to clarify this immediately by call me on my direct mobile line as thus: 234-8090718221 as soon as you receive this email,if you have received and claimed your funds please advised urgently and if on the contrary you have not been paid by the CBN also let me know hence i have got a report from two of our beneficiaries claiming that the CBN Governor wanted to seat of there funds by releasing it to his cronies of which i did not doubt them,so if you call into this category get b
Urgently waiting for your telephone call and email response for prompt actions and payment as this is the end of the year 2014 fiscal payment and the funds for this payment has since being disbursed for your payment,all your details and correspondences should be forwarded to this secured email id of the DMO as thus: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Thanks and waiting for your anticipatory response to this important circular.
Debt Management Office.