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:
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: "Tony O. Elumelu" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:08:00 +0800
Subject: Your Due Payment Fund $5.5m Usd
Good News From the New President Muhammadu Buhari
My name is Tony O. Elumelu an economist by training, a visionary
entrepreneur and a philanthropist. the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the
United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu
Foundation.we held a meeting today with the new President of Nigeria
Mr Muhammadu Buhari in respect of the foreign due payment Fund and i
was approved to release Beneficiary's Fund via ATM Master Card,
However Mr President Muhammadu Buhari ordered me to issue your ATM
Master Card Fund $5.5m Usd on Monday and as well make the delivery via
3 approved Courier Company mentioned below, so kindly get back to me
with one of the Courier Company you prefer to receive your ATM Master
Card on Tuesday, because i will issue your ATM Master Card $5.5m Usd
1) DHL Courier Company delivery fee will cost you $275
2) UPS Courier Company delivery will cost you $235
3) FedEx Courier Company will cost you $250
Meanwhile i will advise to go through my profile website below for
Finally, i will also advise you to reconfirm your contact details
1) Your full name
2) Your office address
2) Your cell phone number for the registration of your ATM Master Card
I wait for your urgent response
Tony O. Elumelu
the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa