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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Peter Amangbo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:05:50 +0100
Subject: RE: Your Payment Approved
Headquarters: Zenith Heights,
Plot 84, Ajose Adeogun Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
CEO: Peter Amangbo (1 Jun 2014)
Founder: Jim Ovia
Founded: May 1990, Nigeria
This is to notify you of a new order on the release of your contract fund. You have been reported to be sick and hospitalized for about Two months now by your representative Eng. Williams Adamson and your claimed partner Mrs.Latrina M. King of United State forwarding the below account for the transfer of Partition payment of $3.5M USD of your contract fund as instructed by you with power of attorney tendered to us today. Please Verify these information:
Account Name: Latrina M. King
Bank Name:AMERICAN SAVINGS BANK
Address:700 Keeaumoku Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815 USA.
Account Number: 8002999709
My office was ordered after meeting held in the presidential village Aso-Rock Abuja to contact and proceed with payment of your Contract/inheritance Funds by informing you that the former bank in charge of your payment being Oceanic Bank plc, Eco Bank, Union Bank, Eco Bank, ETC is no longer in charge of this payment.
I wish to inform you that you have (US$3.5M) outstanding payment that has been approved and ready to be paid to you. But we want to confirm first from you by giving you our mode of payment, this arrangement was agreed between the Presidency and the Senate Committees so take note that we have (1) modes of Payment:
(1) ATM Card Payment: An ATM Card Will Be Charged With This Amount with Limited Withdrawals per Day.
I will require you to get back to this office with your full name and mailing address for the delivery of your ATM.
Mr. Peter Amangbo
Group Managing Director/CEO of the bank