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:
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inland revenue" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- "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.
- 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: "FROM THE FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICES,FIRS." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2015 13:38:03 -0700
Subject: FROM THE FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE,FIRS.
>From The Desk Of: Dr.Babatunder Fowler.
Executive Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
27/28 Adeyemo, Alakija Street,
Building Name: Fortune Towers House.
Victoria Island, Lagos
Attn: Approved Funds Beneficiary.
Be advised that following the Presidential proclamations issued by Mr.President your over due Contract/Inheritance/Lottery funds have being approved for payment by the Federal Board Of Inland Revenue (FIRS),the sum of US$5.5Million (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) have being approved in your name by the FIRS Department for immediate payment through the Office of the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) Dr,Abraham Nwankwo which is the official Federal Government agency empowered to release and pay OFF your approved funds as your Payment File have been forwarded to his office by the FIRS through my desk as the Executive Chairman,please note that you the funds beneficiary is obligated and mandated to provide to Dr.Abraham Nwankwo the Director General of the Debt Management Office a Certified Copy of your JOB COMPLETION CERTIFICATE (JCC) duly issued to you by the awarding Ministry in the past when that is the DMO requirement for your payment,if you dont have it due to misplacement,los
PAYMENT ADMINISTRATORS DETAILS BELOW:-----------------
Director General Debt Management Office (DMO)
Direct Line: 234-8090-718221.
Contact him with the above details with all your details for your payment and as well advise him how you want his office to release your funds to you as instructed by the Federal Inland Revenue Services FIRS as your payment file is with him already,please note that this is a Presidential directives which must be adhered to the latter by you the funds beneficiary,your FIRS ISPO Reference numbers are as thus: FGN/FIRS/000XX/2015,quote the reference numbers to him when contacting him with the above details so that he will act fast on your payment,make sure you call him on phone with the above telephone number before forwarding your details to his email for prompt actions and payment.
Thanks and waiting for your anticipatory response to this important circular from the Office of Mr.President.to the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS on your payment as duly approved by the Nigerian National Assembly.
Executive Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service.