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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:42:28 +0100
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION AS NEXT OF KIN
I am Dr Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan (GCFR), wife to the Former President of Nigeria who hand over government to an Opposition Government on the 29th of May, 2015. I'm contacting you in confidence, and as a means of developing a cordial and fruitful business relationship. I currently have within my reach, the sum of twenty Five million United States Dollars, which I and my children intends to use for investment purposes specifically in your country. This money came as a result of a pay back contract deal between my husband and a Chinese firm in our countryâs multi-Billion Dollar Ajaokuta Steel Plant. The Chinese returned my husbandâs share of US$25,000,000.00 after his hand over to the Opposition Government, and i lodged it in a secret Bank account in Citibank Plc, here in Nigeria. Right now, the New government of President Muhammadu Buhari has intensified their probe on my familyâs financial resources; frozen all our known foreign accounts, revoked our oil licenses, pending the outcome of their investigations.
In view of these facts, I acted fast to deposited the US$25,000,000.00 in a private security account of which I alone know of itâs existence. I have since declared the security account bankrupt. No record whatsoever exists concerning this money traceable by the new government of Nigeria, because there is no documentation showing that we received the money from Chinese firm.
Therefore the current situation in my country concerning governmentâs attitude towards my family, it has become quite impossible for us to make use of this money within. I thus wish to discretely transfer this money out of Nigeria with your help, and to be invested in your country (under your professional guidance), and to help start operation in an Oil Refinery which my Husband built in Brazil before 2011 Presidential General election. I shall expect you to contact my Attorney urgently to enable him discuss this transaction in details.
Perhaps 40% to you and 55% to my family, while 5% goes to any expenses during the transaction, I want you to do your best and contact my Personal Attorney Mr.Bello Ali through his below information to direct you on how the Zenith Bank Plc will release the fund to you.
Moreover,i also want you to fill the appropriate form immediately.
 Full Names:_____________
 Contact address_________
 Direct Telephone No: ____
|4| Occupation : _______
Finally, you are here by advised to call my Lawyer Mr. Bello Ali on his private phone number +2348174961697, to enable him forward your contact information to the Bank for immediate release of the funds as the Next of Kin to my family.
PLEASE REPLY TO HIS PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org,to enable him forward to the Citibank Plc, for the transfer of the fund in your own account.
DR. Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan.
You may call My-Direct No:+2348094254064.
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