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:
- 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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Alh Ahmed Idris" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2016 07:43:58 -0300
Subject: RE: FUND ALERT
I am Alhaji. Ahmed Idris, The Accountant General Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria. I am contacting you base on your abandon ATM Master Card found in my office. During my official research last week I discovered an abandoned ATM Master card valued sum of $16.2Million with Card number ; 5321452123409380 belonging to you as the rightfully beneficiary of the payment. I tried to know why this card have not been released to you but I was told that the formal ATM head of operation who left his office two months ago withheld your card for his own personal use without knowing that I will not approve or support him to take your card. Now your ATM Master card is still available for you to pick up.
I want to know how you wish to receive your ATM card along with your four digits pin code number. Can you come down here in Nigeria to pick up your card direct from from the issuing bank? or alternatively it can be send to your address through any registered reliable courier service company. But note that you will take care of the courier charges, the cost of shipping the card to you with your PIN number and other back up documents will cost you only $980USD both Insurance and Registration, in this case you will be required to forward to me your shipment address .
Furthermore, I write to know if you are aware that people are coming to ask for your fund? A man called Mr. James Williams have been disturbing me to release your fund to him and i do not know who sent him, could it be you? Am wondering why he knows that your fund is under my care and i also want to know if you are the one that sent this man called Mr. James Williams to contact my office and ask for the release of your fund to him, also that you die of cancer of the lungs 6 months ago and before you die you instructed him to receive your fund as your next of kin and business partner.
Your direct telephone number and address will be needed and more details of your ATM card payment will be made known to you as soon as I receive your swift positive response, to enable you know the amount programmed for your ATM daily withdrawal. Do not hesitate to call me on +234-811-2053975 as soon as you have received this mail.
Note: My office or the government of Nigeria will not be held responsible if you fail to receive your fund been approved by my government at this time as a result of your delay in responding to this urgent message. Please do not hesitate to call me on: +234-811-2053975 as soon as you read this message so as to enable us facilitates your payment. Now that your fund has been finally Approved, you are hereby advised to desist from further communication with whosoever you are in contact with both Local and international regarding to your payment to avoid unexpected diversion of delivery your ATM MASTER CARD to unknown person.
This message is coming to you from the Accountant General Of Nigeria and you are expected to comply fully with the delivery directives as requested by the Management. Do not hesitate to call me as you read this message for more elaborate explanation.
Looking forwards to hearing from you accordingly.
OFFICIALLY SIGNED BY THE,
ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF NIGERIA
ALHAJI AHMED IDRIS.
DIRECT PHONE- +234-811-2053975