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.
- 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: Dr William K Raymond <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 11:08:58 -0700
Subject: Payment release .
Debt Reconciliation Office
Payment Review unit EFCC
Payment Review Unit
The International Monetary Funds, IMF has authorized my Office to settle all the Foreign Debts owed by Nigeria Government and Benin
Republic Government. based on the Agreement $10.5m million have been approved to be released in your name through atm
YOUR PAYMENT HAVE BEEN APPROVED TO BE RELEASE IN ATM CARD. THIS ATM CARD IS INTER-SWITCH AND IT WORK IN ALL BANKS MACHINE.
United Nations and IMF have instructed my office to release this approved fund in your name. I have been mandated to
contact you directly for the release this approve US$10.5Milion .
We need the following information to start the processing of releasing the atm card of US10.5M in your favor.
The approved $10.5Million shall be release to you by ATM CARD from Payment Review unit and debt Reconciliation office.
i am assuring you hitch free delivery of this atm card to your house address.
Dr William K Raymond
Chairman Payment Review Unit