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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "abuja" (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.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr. David O. Thomas" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 14:13:22 +0100
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD
Dear Honorable Beneficiary,
YOUR PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract
file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received
your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the
obligations giving to you in respect to your contract
payment.Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some
non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to
stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately.
After the Board of director's meeting held in Abuja, we have resolved
in finding a solution to your problem. We have arranged your payment
through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America, Africa and
Asia Pacific; this is part of the mandate passed by the Senate in
respect to overseas contract payment and debt re-scheduling. And also
the Nigerian Government is using this mean to rewards all the
citizens of the United states and all part of Europe including Asia,
Australia, South America, Canada, Antarctica e.t.c and all those who
have lost their funds in either scam, or an uncompleted business, or
otherwise, You should know that if you are interested to receive your
ATM card which will be credited with $5,000,000.00 united states
dollars before it is been sent to you direct to your doorstep through
the FedEx courier service, you will have to respond to me with your
full informationâs, After your response you will be directed to the
FedEx shipping courier representative whose name is Mrs. Laura Philip
She will send you your ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your
money via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world, and the maximum daily
limit is Fifteen Thousand United States dollars ($15,000.00). And also
note that the Nigerian Government has taken care of the shipping fee
of your ATM card, so if Mr. Edward is requesting for another shipping
fee, you will have to report him to me immediately. When you receive
your ATM card, you have to alert me so that we can give you process of
how to activate and make use of your ATM CARD.
If you like to receive your fund this way, kindly contact the lawyer
in-charge of your Payment, Barrister Adams Christopher with the
following informationâs below.
(1) Your Full Name
(2) Full residential address
(3) Phone and Fax Number
(5) Personal Identification. Driverâs license or International Passport.
(8) Marital Status
This message is supported by the Nigerian Government.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Dr. Mansur Muhtar
Minister, Federal Ministry of Finance