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:
- 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)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "cheques " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "FROM THE DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE,DMO." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 12:07:24 -0700
Subject: FROM THE DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE,DMO.
>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.
RE: ELECTRONIC CREDIT WIRE TRANSFER INTO YOU ACCOUNT BY OUR BANKERS.
Be officially informed that the International Financial Monetary Agencies which includes the World Bank/IMF/Paris Club and the United Nations in conjuctions with our new President have compulsorily stopped and embargoed the payment of foreign beneficiaries funds which you are involved in via ATM CARD and CASHIERS CHEQUE because of the fraud associated with such modes of payment,if you can be truthful with yourself and based on the security reports we received,many Nigerian banks and scammers has been sending ATM Cards to funds beneficiaries like you and cheques that has not being working which in the real sense there is no funds credited in such banking instruments by those impostors thereby making you to spend huge sums of money and at the end you will not receive your funds which of course only the Debt Management office is in charge of and in my capacity as the Director General.
In view of the above the Debt Management Office has decided to release your due approved funds sum of US$5.5Million (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) to you only through the only Internationally acceptable mode of payment Instrument which is KTT Electronic Bank to Bank Wire Transfer which will confirm within 72hours,now note that we have decided to release your funds ONLY through the Debt Management Office Consolidated Oil account holders in the United States ,Europe,South Africa and in Asia depending your part of the World you came from,so all i need to do is to instruct our bankers in any of the above started Countries to credit your nominated bank account once the Debt Management Office has finally Verified and Normalized your banking details to be OK for such transfer in my capacity as the Director General of Debt Management Office and the same day the funds will confirm in your bank account and this will be done at no cost of yours by our bankers as i only need to give them instructions to t
Finally all you need to do now once you receive this email is to call me on my direct telephone number as above and then send to me your full receiving banking details where you want our bankers to transfer your funds to you and that will be done after the due NORMALIZATIONS AND VERIFICATIONS of your account details and payment file by me personally,so call me urgently on this direct phone numbers thus: 234-8090718221, once you get this email to enable me advise on the cost for the NORMALIZATIONS and VERIFICATIONS fees of your payment file and how you will send it and then reconfirm to me your banking details as well hence there is no time to waste as your funds will be credited into your bank account by our bankers within 48hours.
Urgently waiting for your call and your banking details as well.
Debt Management Office(DMO).