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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447024045247 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Franklin Cooks" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:15:55 -0800
Subject: To Person of Concern
Special investigation & reconciliation center London UK
St Ethel burga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
78 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AG UK
Email: email@example.com, Phone: +44 702 404 5247
To Person of Concern,
In a brief introduction, we are a team of financial analyst and special investigators; we were employed by the Africa Development Bank to carry out special analyses on financial misconduct on approved payment due to foreign beneficiaries in accordance to the United Nations submit advise to member states on financial control. We have financial reports on approved payment from several African Banks, Finance & Security Companies including Lottery Agents. We are charged presently with the sole responsibility of vetting and scrutinizing all approved sum for the past 35yrs.
This letter contains facts that have led to several stop orders and concerns that were issued to suspend the transfer of your payment to you the beneficiary.
During an in-depth verification exercise instituted by this team of financial analyst on your payment, I discovered the fact and after proper consideration I have decided to contact you. Be informed that several persons are behind the delay why you have not received your payment. They are not directly after your approved sum rather they are after the accrued interest they make by allowing your funds stay in foreign banks and also with local banks, as of the time this investigation was concluded, your accrued interest is US$2.8M. It is a known fact that they cant steal or divert your approved sum but causing Several delays and big financial obligation as obstacle to buy time and have the principal sum stay on fixed deposit to make interest on the funds.
As the head of this delegation, I have advised that all approved sum in foreign reserve and local banks should be recalled back to the apex bank so that a re-approval will be done and all obligation holding any
Beneficiary such as your case is looked into and approved for immediate payment. Dont be surprised that most of your beneficiary status information has been changed and you only get simple details of payment information while these underdogs monitor all procedures and ensure that they still pin down these funds for their personal interest.
It is very important you reconfirm your details such as,
1, Your Full names, 2, Your Full address, 3, Your Direct Phone Number, 4, A copy of your ID.
This will allow us ensure that we are dealing with the right beneficiary and also ensure that your beneficiary status information are correct in your payment file. Upon receipt of these details, we will immediately pass our recommendations to the African development Bank to proceed without any delay to ensure that you the beneficiary receive the accrued interest of US$2.8M on your approved sum before due arrangement is made for the total sum.
Mr. Franklin Cooks
Head of Delegation
St Ethel burga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace