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:
- "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. )
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Proof. Ibrahim Musa" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Proof. Ibrahim Musa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2014 13:50:09 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: VICTIMS BENEFICIARIES PAYMENTS UNIT
Â SCAMMED VICTIMS BENEFICIARIES PAYMENTS.
REF/PAYMENTS CODE:06654 AMT: US$800,000 USD.
This is to bring to your notice that I am delegated from the United
Nations to Central Bank of Benin/Apex Bank of Benin to pay 150 scammed
victims $800,000 USD ( Eight Hundred Thounsand United States Dollars )
each. You are listed and approved for this payment as one of the
scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back to me as soon as
possible for the immediate payment of your $800,000 USD compensation
On this faithful recommendations, I want you to know that during the
last U.N meeting held at London, United Kingdom on May 15thÂ 2014. It
was alarmed so much by the world in the meetings on the lose of funds
by various individuals/companies to the scam artists operating
insyndicates all over the world today. In other to compensate victims,
United Nations is now paying 150 victims of this operators $800,000
USD each in accordance with the U.N. recommendations.
Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in Nigeria, Ghana
and Benin Republic the payments are to be paid by Central Bank of
Africa as corresponding paying Bank under funding assistance by The
Barclays Bank, London or World Bank Switzerland for funds remittance.
Benefactor will be cleared and recommended for payment by APEX BANK OF
According to the number of applicants at hand, 114 Beneficiaries has
been paid, half of the victims are from the United States, we still
have more 36 left to be paid the compensations of $800,000 USD each.
Your particulars was mentioned by one of the Syndicates who was
arrested as one of their victims of the operations, you are hereby
warned not to communicate or duplicate this message for any reason
what so ever as the U.S. secret service is already on trace of the
other criminals.. So keep it secret till they are all apprehended.
Other victims who have not been contacted can submit their application
as well for scrutiny and possible consideration.
You can receive your compensation payment via any of this options as
you may Choose, ATM MASTER CARD or WIRE TRANSFERS. Western Union Money
Transfer I shall feed you with further modalities as soon as I hear
Prof. Ibrahim Musa