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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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.
- 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: Tony Ebere <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 03:35:24 +0700
Subject: YOUR URGENT REPLY IS NEEDED
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
OFFICE OF THE PAYMENT VERIFICATION PANEL
LAGOS LIAISON OFFICE
ATTENTION DEAR BENEFICIARY,
YOUR OUTSTANDING PAYMENT.
We hereby bring to your notice that your outstanding payment with the
Federal Government of Nigeria has reached this office for verification
and clarifications before the release. Anyway, without wasting much
time,I have personally investigated this payment down to the Ministry
were this contract was executed and from my findings it is clear that
you did not execute this contract in question, from all available
information, it looks like some officials in the Ministry were trying
to use you to claim this particular value which they over invoiced for
their own selfish interest. I know it might interest you to know how I
managed to find out this truth, yes. I investigated this payment up to
the ministry were this contract was executed and after some checks I
was surprise to see that the most vital/important documents regarding
to this contract bears a different name and beneficiary.
Based on this I decide to contact the supervisor that signed the
attestation report, on getting to the contract award and supervisory
commission I collected the contract attestation report and found out
that this document steel bears the name: B& B PETROLEUM ENG.PTY as the
company that executed this contract. I keep this to my self and came
down to my base. As a matter of fact I have been thinking whether to
report my findings to the appropriate body for cancellation of this
payment, but I have this second thought of contacting you since I am
not a saint and in a position to approve this payment for the
president to give go ahead order to the release, I feel this might be
a Gods given opportunity.
So it is based on this I am writing you, if you will accept with my
understated conditions I can normalize all the relevant papers of this
payment and the funds will be release within 14 working days. Contract
attestation report is not in your name, the fund owner ship
certificate is also not in your name. Actually your partners as I
should say did a very great work in manipulating almost all the
documents to your favor.
Now, I want you to know that, with my position, I can amend this
problems and this money will be paid to your nominated bank account
which both of us will share on a 50/50 %if only you will accept with
So, if you see it wise to get this perfected with me feel free to contact
me through my private email address ( email@example.com )
I shall let you know my conditions as soon as I here from you.