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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: MR IBRAHIM MAGU <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 02:55:07 -0800
Subject: URGENT NOTICE NEEDED IMMNEDIATELY
>From Mr. Ibrahim Magu
Chairman Compensation Payment Committee
National Assembly Abuja
This letter is written in order to change your Life from today, we have received information from our monitoring network that you have sent so much payment through Western Union and Money Gram to Nigeria,and to some other part of the World in recent times without receiving any payment to your name, further investigation reveals that you have lost hope towards receiving your payment having been deceived so many times. Following the ongoing re-branding of Nigeria and image laundering being promulgated by Nigeria Government to the International Communities, the Federal Government of Nigeria have instructed our committee to compensate you with the sum of $5,500,000 ( One Million and Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
We will be able to pay you this $1,500,000 in piece meal of daily $2500 through Western Union or Money Gram so that you will receive quick money to solve your urgent financial problem. In case you do not want to receive your compensation payment through western union or money gram, we will send you an atm card for the total sum of $1,500,000 or through Bank to Bank transfer. Since you have been fighting to receive large sum of money for the past months/years from our Contract/inheritance payment without success, it is wise and better for you to first receive this compensation payment.
We want to inform you that the members of Compensation Payment Committee are all honorable men of Great Repute who have serve the Federal Government of Nigeria in different high ranking capacities, we also want to inform you that we were all appointed by our respected President his Excellency Muhammadu Buhari to pay foreign Debt such as Contract Debt, Inheritance/Next of Kin Debt, Compensation Debt,Lottery Debt, Purchase/Sales of Good Debt, and all other kind of Debt own Foreigner by Nigeria Government, in order to restore back the good image of Nigeria before the international Communities.
You are advice to reply to me immediately you receive this mail, so that you will receive your own payment.In case you want to commence receiving your payment, kindly reply now with ANSWERS to the Questions below,
Your Full Name
Your Contact Resident Address
Your Direct Telephone Mobile/ Home And office Telephone/ Fax Number
What You Do For A Living?
How Many Months Or Years You Have Been Expecting your Payment The Place you sent Money Last whether Nigeria or London etc The Last Amount of Money You sent to Nigeria and What Month or Year.
Upon the receipt of this email kindly send the required information and make sure that you call me for more concrete discussion +2348175080569.
Mr. Ibrahim Magu
Chairman Compensation Payment Committee
National Assembly Abuja Nigeria