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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Grace Ugo" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2017 13:07:29 +0200
Subject: Dear Customer,
I am glad to write to you because of there is a good development in this fiscal payment quarter 2017.I am the newly director of the Swift Transfer Dept,CBN.
After going through your file in my office and I discovered that you have paid all your money but late Mrs. Roseline Umeh did not allow your funds to go into your designated bank account.In deed,she put a clause into your funds and that is why you have not received your funds into your bank account up till now.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria have accepted to pay all their funds to foreign contractors in this tenure and this is in accordance of the rule of laws that governing the federal government of Nigeria over the foreign contractors funds.
With these imminent recession in Nigeria, this is why you have not received your funds but I will deliver your funds into your bank account and if you will pay this money - US$50 only and this is use and clean the clause in your file.
RECEIVER NAME: MR.DIKE FRANKLIN
Address is Plot 1o Hape Dairo Street
However,immediately you pay the money through the Western Union or Money gram you will receive your funds into your designated bank account without delay and you can contact me with this number 2348035175064 for more clarifications.
Thanks for your cooperation.
Swift Transfer Dept,CBN