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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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: "Mr. Daniel Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 13:15:46 +0100
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
My name is Mr. Daniel Smith . I'm the vice Chairman of the International Investigations and Anti Fraud Task Force, For African Region 2014. Sir, we the entire delegates of the above office flew into Lagos city of Nigeria recently because of numerous complaints filed against Nigerian government on their inability to pay foreign beneficiaries Inheritance, Contracts and Compensatory funds into their respective banks accounts even after they must have collected all required transfer fees from these foreign beneficiaries.
This is the reason why we were mandated by the United Nations (US) and the international Monetary Fund (IMF) to fly into West Africa and rectify these problems by making sure foreign beneficiaries receive their long over due funds without making further upfront payment(s). From the time we came into Nigeria, we have been able to repatriate some funds that was wrongly diverted into different bank accounts abroad by the bad eggs in the Nigerian banks and ministries. Further more ,from your file here on my table I'm so surprised that you have not received your payment up till this moment as from what I saw in your file, you have complied with all the transfer documents that shows and proved your legitimacy as the beneficiary of this fund. We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian govt to pay off all certified foreign beneficiaries from our own liquidity (Available Funds) in our UN / EU controlled bank in UK, and we will debit the Nigerian government and recover o
ur money from same through their
Finally, Are you still alive and healthy? If you are still alive, you are required to immediately respond to this mail, so that we will send to you our payment transfer form to fill in correctly in other to receive your fund in your choice bank account.
Mr. Daniel Smith.
Presently in Lagos Nigeria, West Africa.