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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "JUSTICE EMMANUEL AYOOLA " <Johnwilleyw2@zavidwillison.gq>
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 01:10:52 -0800
Subject: KIND ATTENTION: CONCERNED BENEFICIARY,
THE INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES & OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION
(ICPC)10 OKOTIE EBOH STREET, OFF AWOLOWO ROAD, SW-IKOYI, LAGOS NIGERIA.
MOTTO: NO BODY IS ABOVE THE LAW!!!
FROM THE DESK OF JUSTICE EMMANUEL AYOOLA.
FOR: IDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES & OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION (ICPC).
KIND ATTENTION: CONCERNED BENEFICIARY,
RE - DID YOU AUTHORIZE ANYONE TO RECEIVE YOUR ATM CASH PLUS CARD VALUED US$9,800,000.00 ONLY ON YOUR BEHALF FROM THIS HONOURABLE COMMISSION?
THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT A MAN OF 5.9 INCHES TALL, WITH BLONDE HAIR AND WHITE IN COLOUR FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CAME TO OUR OFFICE TODAY CLAIMING TO BE FROM YOU, STATING THAT YOU ARE DEAD BUT
BEFORE YOUR ABRUPT DEATH YOU MADE HIM YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND AUTHORIZED HIM AS YOUR LEGAL BENEFICIARY TO CLAIM YOUR ATM CARD/FUND VALUED US$9,800,000...00 ONLY FROM THIS REPUTABLE COMMISSION.
NOW HERE COMES THE BIG QUESTION, DID YOU SIGN ANY DEED OF ASSIGNMENT IN FAVOR OF THIS MAN, THEREBY MAKING HIM THE CURRENT BENEFICIARY WITH HIS FOLLOWING CONTACT DETAILS: (7121 EDGETON ST; DETROIT, MICHIGAN 48212-1905, USA.).
FOR YOUR INFORMATION, WE SHALL PROCEED TO ISSUE ALL PAYMENT RELEASE DETAILS TO THIS MAN WHOM YOU MADE YOUR LEGAL BENEFICIARY, THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND UNDER THE INSTRUCTION/SUPERVISION OF MR.
OLUSEGUN O. AGANGA, IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU WITHIN THE NEXT TWO WORKING DAYS.
WE WILL BE WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. SEND YOUR
REPLY THROUGH THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
THANKS FOR YOUR ANTICIPATED COOPERATION IN THIS REGARDS.
JUSTICE EMMANUEL AYOOLA (CHAIRMAN),
FOR: INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES & OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION
CC: TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA (FRN)
CC: TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY (GCFR)
CC: TO THE CRIME DIVISION UNIT (CDU
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