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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 08 Oct 2015 02:34:15 -0400
Subject: YOUR ATTENTION REQUIRED.
Re: PAYMENT SOLUTION, I am Dr. Olumide O. George , Financial Accountant For=
eign Affairs Ministry; my office monitors and controls the affairs of all b=
anks and financial institutions in Nigeria concerned with foreign contract =
payments executed within the country. I am the final signatory to any trans=
fer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks both on the local and i=
nternational levels in line to foreign contracts settlement. I have before =
me list of funds, which could not be transferred to some nominated accounts=
as these accounts have been identified either as ghost accounts, unclaimed=
deposits and over-invoiced sum etc. I write to present you to the federal =
government that you are among the people expecting the funds to be transfer=
red into their account, on this note, I wish to have a deal with you as reg=
ards to the unpaid certified contract funds. I have every files before me a=
nd the data's will be change to your name to enable you receive the fund in=
to your nominated bank account as the beneficiary of the fund's amount $10.=
5 Million U.S.D. As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplu=
s funds to the Federal Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as unclaime=
d deposits, I have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions I=
received 2 days ago from the Senate Committee on Contract Payments /Foreig=
n Debts to submit the List of payment reports /expenditures and audited rep=
orts of revenues. Among several others, I have decided to remit this sum fo=
llowing my idea that we have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this leg=
ally. MY CONDITIONS: 1. You will give me 50% of your contract funds as soon=
as you confirm it in your designated bank account. 2. This deal must be ke=
pt secret forever, and all correspondence will be strictly by email/telepho=
ne, for security purposes. 3. There should be no third parties as most prob=
lems associated with your fund release are caused by your agents or represe=
ntative. If you agree with my conditions, l will advise you on what to do i=
mmediately and the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed t=
o fix your name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the ten days mand=
ate. I hope you don't reject this offer but have this fund transferred. If =
you are willing and ready to carry out this deal with me, I advise you furn=
ish me with the following information to enable me make the required change=
s on the file and documents to your name as the beneficiary. 1. Your full n=
ames, home/Office address. 2. Your telephone/mobile line. 3. Your recent pa=
ssport photograph. For security reasons do not respond to the above email a=
ddress. You are to contact me through my private e-mail address at drolumid=
egeorge@yahoo. com.hk at the receipt of your mail, I will direct you on wha=
t to do. Waiting for your reply soon, Dr. Olumide O. George. Financial Acco=
untant, Foreign Affairs Ministry. drolumidegeorge@yahoo. com.hk=20