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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- 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: nta <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 07:59:03 +0100
Subject: PAYMENT RECEIPT...
Sir/Mrs. This is Chairman. Mr Ekpo Nta of ICPC Nigeria.(Independent Corrupt=
Practice Commission, ICPC) in alliance with the Economic Community of West=
African States (ECOWAS), with their Head Office here in Nigeria has been w=
orking towards the total eradication of fraudsters and scam in here in Nige=
ria With the help of the United States Government. We have been able to tra=
ck down so many of this scammers in various parts of (NIGERIA) and they are=
all in our custody here in Lagos Nigeria, meanwhile during the process of =
arrest, We were able to recover some funds from the prosecuted scammer. In =
respect to this great achievement, this Anti-crime commission and the Unite=
d State Government/Federal Government Of Nigeria have ordered that the mone=
y recovered from these Scammers be shared among 100 Lucky people whom there=
appear our list, This email is been directed to you because your email add=
ress was found in one of the file and computer hard disk recovered from the=
prosecuted scammers there in our custody. You are therefore being compensa=
ted with the sum of $5Million Dollars. We have also arrested all those who =
claimed to be Barristers, Bank Officials, Lottery Agents, Person or group o=
f Person's who claim to have funds in their custody that belonged to you or=
want you to be the Next of kin of such funds which do not exist ,Since you=
r email appeared among the lucky Beneficiaries who will receive a compensat=
ion of $5Million Dollars, we have arranged your payment to be made to you t=
hrough Swift Card.(ATM). Please do feel free to direct your email back with=
required information to person in charged of ATM Program/Delivery from ZEN=
ITH BANK PLC, the swift card has been specially prepared to enable you with=
draw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximu=
m is Five Thousand Dollars Only per day, due to security reasons, so you ar=
e therefore advised to direct all your mails to me with the required inform=
ation as stated below. Mr Ekpo Nta Tel: (+234 802 096 7661) EMAIL:(nta.icpc=
@aol.com) firstname.lastname@example.org You are advice to forward the informati=
on bellow to enable us prepare your ATM Card including your Pin for easy ac=
cessibility. Your Full Name_______________________ Your Address____________=
____________ P.O.BOX_________________________________ Country______________=
____________ Telephone Number________________________ Mobile Number________=
_________ Fax Number______________________________ Occupation______________=
__________ Marital Status_______________________ Age_________ Sex__________=
___ Officially Sign. Mr Ekpo Nta Chairman ICPC Nigeria. (Independent Corrup=
t Practice Commission, (ICPC) ---------------------------------------------=
----------------------- If you have received this communication in error, p=
lease notify ICPC immediately by replying to this message.