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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ministry of Finance" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2015 09:46:22 -0800
Subject: Your Funds
Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF)
International Economic Relations
Ahmadu Bello Way, Central Business District
PMB 14, Abuja, Nigeria Abuja FCT 00234 Nigeria
This email is from the International Economic Relations Department of the Federal Ministry of Finance,
Nigeria. We hereby notify you of the approval of you outstanding payment of $1,000,000.00 which was
unclaimed by you from our previous administration.
This Department has been directed by the Presidency to transfer your funds to you within the next
Therefore get back to us immediately with a reconfirmation of the following:
You will be receiving your funds in an ATM card which will be issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.It will mailed to you via courier services and you are responsible for the courier delivery fees of 109usd only.
I shall get back to you as soon as I receive the requested details.
Mr. Henry Aku