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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Grace Ali" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2016 12:13:19 +0100 (WAT)
Subject: BAIL OUT/INTERVENTION FUND
Be informed that the Federal Government of Nigeria under the
Leadership of Mr President, Mohammadu Buhari directed in ad-hock
committee meeting held in Aso-Rock Villa that all scammed Victims
should be compensated with the sum of $5.5M U.S.D(FIve MILLION
FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOLLARS) each.
This payment should be made through Online Tele- Banking which
originated from the Government appointed paying Bank,Or any of our
Payment Centers outside Nigeria.
The $1.5Billion U.S.D(ONE BILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED SATES
OF AMERICA DOLLARS) Intervention/Bail Out fund was set aside for this
Though, regrettably for what you have gone through all this period, we
have in all sincere apologize for the trauma caused by these scammers.
However, you are directed to furnish us the following:
(1) Your Name(s.
(2) Your Home/Office Address:
(3) Your Mobil Line
(4) Your Age:
(5) Your Occupation:
(6) Your Country
(7) Your National I.D/Driver's License for easy identification.
As soon as you fill this form and return same to us, your payment
process will commence without further delay as directed by Mr
Once again, we are sorry for what you have suffered in the hands of
these ugly fraudsters.
Mrs Grace Ali (D.M.O)
Account Officer: Debt Management Office