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:
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR WILLIAM GEORGE" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:46:49 -0700
Subject: NOTIFICATION ABOUT YOUR ATM CARD.
NOTIFICATION ABOUT YOUR ATM CARD. OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS INTE=
RNATIONAL CREDIT SETTLEMENT CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA. ATTENTION BENEFICIARY:=
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR CONTRACT/INHER=
ITANCE FILE AND FOUND OUT THAT WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR PAYMENT IS BE=
CAUSE YOU HAVE NOT FULFILLED THE OBLIGATIONS GIVEN TO YOU IN RESPECT OF YOU=
R CONTRACT / INHERITANCE PAYMENT. SECONDLY WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU A=
RE STILL DEALING WITH THE NONE OFFICIALS IN THE BANK YOUR ENTIRE ATTEMPT TO=
SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUND TO YOU. WE WISH TO ADVICE YOU THAT SUCH AN =
ILLEGAL ACT LIKE THIS HAVE TO STOP IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT SINC=
E WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM.RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARR=
ANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR SWIFTCARD PAYMENT ASIA PACIFIC,THAT IS THE L=
ATEST INSTRUCTION BY THE PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN (GCFR)FEDERAL REPUBLIC=
OF NIGERIA. THIS OFFICE WILL SEND YOU AN ATM CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WI=
THDRAW YOUR MONEY IN ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, BUT THE MAXI=
MUM IS TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER DAY,SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE =
YOUR FUND THIS WAY PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE CARD PAYMENT OFFICE=
AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: 1. YOUR FULL NAME 2. PHONE AND FA=
X NUMBER, 3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD TO (P.O BOX NO=
T ACCEPTABLE) 4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION 5. A COPY OF YOUR INTERNAT=
IONAL PASSPORT CONTACT PERSON: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (MALam) INTEGRATED PAYM=
ENT DEPARTMENT EMAIL:(firstname.lastname@example.org) THE ATM CARD PAYMENT=
OFFICE HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT $8,300,000.00 AS PART PAYMENT FOR TH=
IS FISCAL YEAR 2013/2014 ALSO FOR YOUR INFORMATION YOU HAVE TO STOP ANY FUR=
THER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON (S) OR OFFICE(s). THIS IS TO AVOID=
ANY HITCHES IN FINALIZING YOUR PAYMENT.EMAIL(email@example.com=
om) AND GET BACK TO ME AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FU=
RTHER DIRECTION IN THIS REGARDS AND ALSO UPDATE ME ON ANY DEVELOPMENT FROM =
THE ABOVE MENTIONED OFFICE. (MR WILLIAM GEORGE) CHIEF AUDITOR TO THE PRESID=
ENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.