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:
- "security keeping fee" (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. )
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "certified bank draft" (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.
- +447045731046 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Rev Frank Eze <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 22:25:06 -0700
Subject: Good Day
OFFICE OF Rev Frank Eze.
GTBank UK Head Office
60 - 62 Margaret Street
London W1W 8TF
RE- ACCRUED INTEREST OF YOUR FUND (AMOUNT: $10,257,000.00 USD) Through
Automated Teller Machine. (ATM Credit Card).
Sir, I want to bring to your notice base on the above stated
notification that our Bank, GTB Bank of London has been mandated by
the INTERNATIONAL MONITORY FUND (IMF), UNITED NATION WORLD BODY and
the Government of Nigeria, immediately after this meeting, this office
has been given go ahead to handle the release of your accrued interest
of your fund as stated above as i called for your payment files.
Also, I want you to take note that, the first quarter of this year
2015 has just begin and all Banks are trying to put this year
activities in place hence we are notifying you on the above payment
matter Note that your payment will be made through a programmed ATM
CARD, MASTERS CARD,VISAS CARD or a certified Bank Draft in order to
facilitate your transaction. This instruction was given by the
Government of Nigeria as agreed on the meeting healed some hairs-ago
by the involved parties and our bank Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) has been
mandated to handle these issues of your payment matters and release
your money as we will want to know from you on how you will want the
money to be paid. Note that our bank deeply agreed with UNITED NATION
AND THE NIGERIA GOVERNMENT ON PAYMENT AS OUR BANK WILL NOT WANT TO
INVOLVED IN COLLECTING UPFRONT MONEY FROM SOME OF THE CLINT WE
More so, the Card will be deposited with a Registered Courier Service
Company With Insurance Coverage Policy, and the Management of this
Bank has already paid for the Delivery, Insurance, Non-Inspection and
YellowTagged, the only Fee/Charges,what we where not allow to pay now
is the Security Keeping Fee as we did not know when you will be
contacting the courier company for collection.
Please due contact the paying bank Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Limited
customer's care office for directions. and let us have your Details as
we await your urgent responses. 1, Your full Name 2, Your full
YOUR full Identification Telephone number to reach you. We will also
want you to give us the total amount the Government of Nigeria are
owing you so that we can be able to work out the amount you are to be
paid as interest.
Rev Frank Eze
GTBank UK Head Office
60 - 62 Margaret Street
London W1W 8TF