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:
- ",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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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: "MR. PATRICK OBI"
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 07:34:40 -0800
Subject: OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY.
I AM DR. PATRICK OBI ,CHAIRMAN DEBT RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE FROM THE
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY AS THE NEW APPOINTED BY MUHAMMAD BUHARI,
PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND OTHER HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVE MEMBERS, WORLD BANK, UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL
MONETARY FUND (IMF), THEY AGREED TO PAY YOU THE SUM OF $5,000,000.00
(FIVE MILLION US AMERICAN DOLLARS ONLY) AS YOUR COMPENSATION.
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND NIGERIA GOVERNMENT HAS RESOLVED ON A
DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO NIGERIA ON-BEHALF OF 100 SCAM VICTIMS TO BE
COMPENSATED AFTER POLICE ARRESTED SOME FRAUDSTERS IN LAGOS NIGERIA WHO
MENTIONED YOUR PARTICULARS AS ONE OF THE VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
IN THE LINE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING HELD WITH THE AMERICAN
GOVERNMENT AND NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT AS MUHAMMED BUHARI, PRESIDENT
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA WITH THE ENTIRE BODIES HAS AGREED TO PAY
YOU $5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION US AMERICAN DOLLARS ONLY) AS YOUR
CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR NAME WERE AMONG THE LIST TO BE PAID $5M US
DOLLARS COMPENSATION PAYMENT. SO RE-CONFIRM BELOW INFORMATION SO THAT
THERE WILL NOT BE ANY MISTAKE:
1) YOUR FULL NAME: ---------------
2) YOUR CURRENT HOUSE ADDRESS: -------------
3) CURRENT DIRECT TELEPHONE: -------------
4) OCCUPATION & AGE: -------------
AS SOON AS I RECEIVE THE INFORMATION, I WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO TO
RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY. GET BACK TO ME
IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME OVER YOUR APPROVED FUND
COMPENSATION PAYMENT OF THE YEAR.
CALL ME WITH THIS NUMBER FOR MORE INFORMATION: + 234-90-952-869-31
CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN.
MY BEST REGARDS.
MR. PATRICK OBI
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY.
CHAIRMAN DEBT RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE
ANTI CORRUPT MONITORING DEPARTMENT
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
No 10 Mambilla Street ,Off Aso Drive
Maitama District Abuja Nigeria
Direct Telephone Number: (+234-90-952-869-31 )
Email Address: email@example.com