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:
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "international court of justice" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "central bank of nigeria" (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: "OFFICE INFO" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 09:14:37 +0200
Subject: RE;APPROVED FUNDS.
Attention , Creditor.
This is officially advise your on your approved payment of US$5Million by International Court of Justice, Netherlands as already with Nigerian Oil Trust Account with the Nigerian Apex Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria and we have received report today from the Nigerian Ministry of Finance and Nigerian Petroleum Trust Account handlers that your associate Mr. Robert Swick from United States have submitted an account with Bank of America with account number 10189765390 and an Affidavit of Trust you signed , instructing the Nigerian Apex Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria , Credit and Control Transfer Department Dr. Norman Briggs ( Telephone + 234 8188334233
Email: email@example.com ) to transfer your funds to your next of kin Robert Swick .
We need your immediate responds to this effect or your funds will be transfer today above account as submitted and call Credit and Control Transfer Department of Central Bank of Nigeria immediately to avoid miss direction of fund and Nigerian government nor this honorable Court will not be held liable for any mis- direction of funds for this transfer is 100% risk free, financially profitable and economically viable.
The President of This Court has ordered you the beneficiary to immediately Call and send your personal details , your full name, your direct telephone number and fax number to Credit and Control Transfer Department of Central Bank of Nigeria Dr. Norman Briggs (Telephone + 234 8188334233 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) for immediate remittances advice of your funds to the above account number as submitted by your associates.
Dr Gommez Hans Carcus
Registrar ,International Court of Justice. (International Funds Monitoring Department )
Internationale De Justice,Hague Netherland,