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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ken Okoro" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:35:15 -0800
Subject: PAYMENT AUTHENTICATION
Office of the Minister of the Finance.
Re: PAYMENT AUTHENTICATION,
I am Ken Okoro, From the Finance Ministry; my office monitors and controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions concerned with foreign contract payments.
I have your file before me to enable you receive your funds into your nominated bank account as the beneficiary of the fund's. As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of your funds to the Federal Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as unclaimed,I have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions that i received from the house Committee on Contract Payments /Foreign Debts to submit the List of payment reports / expenditures and audited reports of revenues, I have decided to remit this sum following my idea that we have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.
1. You will give me My share of the total funds as soon as you confirm it in your designated bank account.
2. This deal must be kept secret forever, and all correspondence will be strictly by email / telephone.
3. There should be no third parties as most problem associated with your fund release are caused by the agents or representative. If you AGREE with my conditions, l advise you on what to do immediately and the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the five days mandate.
Waiting for your reply soon.
OFFICE OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE