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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Prince Arthur Fom" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 06:14:59 +0300
Subject: YOUR URGENT ATTENTION IS HIGHLY NEEDED
My name is Prince Arthur Fom, the newly appointed Chairman of Fund Recovery Unit/Federal Pay Officer in the administration of the new President of Nigeria, General Mohammed Buhari (rtd),
My duty is to recover/peruse all unclaimed payments owed to foreign nationals by the past President Goodluck administration and beyond so as to clear the country from fraudulent mess as directed by the international communities,
In that capacity, this present administration through my office has required you as a matter of urgency, to state why your fund has not been paid to you uptil this moment to enable us probe the concern officials where necessary and release your fund to you. Therefore we want you to state how much you have spent during the course of pursuing this payment and also how long you have been on it,
Finally we need all your payment/ bank details to enable us facilitate your fund transfer with immediate effect as well as releasing your payment reference number to you. We are very sorry for all the embarrassment all our past governments has caused to you,
We are committed to serve you better,