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:
- 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:
- "required fee " (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "service fee" (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. )
- "@diplomats.com" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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 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.Andrew Lloyd <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 00:11:20 -0800
Subject: ATTN: Bonafide beneficiary
Senior Special Diplomatic Envoy to Nigeria
Corporate Governance & Audit Committee
British High Commission in Lagos,
11 Walter Carrington Crescent,
Victoria Island Lagos.
ATTN: Bonafide beneficiary
RE:YOUR DUE COMPENSATION/REQUISITION BENEFITS WORTH US$5,400,000 .00
This is Mr.Andrew Lloyd,the Former British Ambassador to Federal Republic of Nigeria, I came down here in Lagos/Abuja Nigeria for an ECOWAS meeting inagurated by Board of Directors of Debt Management Offices,Nigeria with Global Financial Experts/Corporate governance Auditors from the World Bank/ IMF and I was searching for some files that I left in this office before I left and found out that you have not received your fund,and I asked the present ambassador Sir. Andrew Pocock,who is High Commissioner to Nigeria and Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, how come you haven't received your funds since 3 years ago, and he said that you refused to pay the required fee for the delivery of your ATM CARD.
I'm contacting you this morning because the director of the ATM CARD center here in Nigeria said that they will revert your funded/activated Master Debit CARD to the Government Treasury just because that you cannot pay for the service fee of your ATM CARD which is £248.00 GBP only and no addition no subtraction according to them.
But I told them to wait until I hear from you today so that I will know the reason why you rejected your due compensation with accrued sum of US$5.4m which will change your life just because of £248.00 GBP.However your response to this e-mail will determine your readiness to receive your funds by this last opportunity.
As it stands now, I urge your immediate reply as soon as you receive this email and explain to me the reason why you have chosen to abandon your CARD because of £248.00 GBP. But if you don't need it then I can change your name to another impressionable beneficiary to prevent this new government from seizing the funds but I trust you would love to have it.
Please my dear I want to help you to receive this fund because it was a big shock to me that you have not receive your ATM CARD and withdraw your money for years back now and I'm very sorry for that but be sure you will receive your fund before the end of this ongoing beneficial meeting which will last for another 5 business days and I will be here to monitor to ensure plan and unwrinkled conclusion and availability of your approved payment in no distant time.
This is where you should send the fee today and I will also need the assurance that you don't fail to follow advice hereof.
Receiver Name==== GEORGE NOAH FRANK
Country ======= NIGERIA
City ============= LAGOS
Text Question ===== URGENT
Answer ============ TODAY
Amount ======== £248.00 GBP
Sender Name ====
Once again, I apologize to you on behalf of the above mentioned body for the long delay in receiving your funds and promise to make every effort to smooth over the situation while I hope to read from you today with the mtcn number so that we can facilitate the immediate release of the fund for myself in particular have limited time frame to discharge my duties.
Chairman,Foreign Payments & Legalisation Services
Attached to Presidency-Nigeria,Forum of Accountants General and Auditors of West African States. Chairman, ECOWAS Audit Committee ECOWAS.