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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "processing fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Janet Edward <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2016 17:28:40 +0200
DERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
NATIONAL HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY COMPLEX
SENATE HOUSE - UPPER CHAMBERS WUSE DISTRICT, COTONOU BENIN
LISTEN MY DEAR IF YOU FAIL TO SEND THE ($49) THIS WEEK YOUR $1,500,000.00 IS
Our Ref: FGN /SNT/STB
Compliment of the season, Please I have to inform you again, that we are not
playing over this, I know my reason for the continuous sending of this
notification to you, the fact is that you can't seem to trust any one again
over this payment for what you have been in cantered in many months ago, but
I want you to trust me, I cannot scam you for ($49) it is for bank
processing of your payment, the fees of ($49) is clearly written to you
before, I did not invent the bill to defraud you of ($49) it is an official
bank payment processing fee, and the good part of this, is that you will
never, ever be disturbed again over any kind of payment, this is final, and
the forms from there becomes effective once we submit your payment
application processing fee and pay the form fee of ($49) I don't want you to
loose this fund this time, because you may never get another such good
opportunity, the federal government is keen and very determined to pay your
overdue debts, this is not a fluke, I would not ! Want you to loose this
The processing charges which was initially on the high price has been cut
down by the payout bank considering the poor economic situations that make
it difficult for the middle class citizens to meet up with the processing
charges of their entitlement. Upon the confirmation of your processing
charges you will get your $1,500,000.00 into your account within 30mins
Only what you will do now is to Contact us back if you are interested in
receiving your fund and information will be given to you were to send the
bank processing charges to avoid wrong transaction, finally my advice to you
is not to abandon this transaction because of the requirement of (($49))
As soon as the payment is received, you will receive your $1.5million the
same today without any delay.
Mrs Janet Edward