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:
- 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:
- "stamp duty" (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. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Hon. Justice E. Ayoola" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:48:08 +0300
Subject: RE ***NOTIFICATION OF YOUR ATM CARD.Payment***
From ICPC NIGERIA (Anti-Fraud Unit)
Head Office: Plot 802, Constitution Avenue Zone A9 Central Area Garki Abuja.
P. M.B 535,
Contract this email : Make sure you reply here for record aim (
RE: LETTER OF COMPENSATION/SETTLEMENT FOR LONG AWAITED OVERDUE PAYMENT
NOTIFICATION OF YOUR ATM CARD.
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract file
presently on my desk Your $10.500.000.0 USD has been approved and credited
into ATM Card and was deposited with delivery company this morning for
registration, and we agreed up that the delivery of Your $10.500.000.0
Million USD ATM Package will take off tomorrow morning .So contact us with
your full info where your ATM card will be delivered to,
Below are the information needed for delivery.
(1) Full name---
(2) Direct telephone number--
(3) Country of origin:---
(4) Your Current delivery address:--
(5) Occupation/ age/ sex--
(6) City -------
Note: Our ATM Card will permit you for a daily withdrawal limit of US$8000
or In anticipating for your urgent cooperation.
meanwhile the delivery company has made it mandatory that all shipment must
have an Original STAMP DUTY , so you are advice to send $247 for stamp duty
fee to enable us mail out your card to your address with immediate effect.
Urgent get back to us today with your full address where your ATM card will
be delivered to The amount in your Card is US10.500.000.0 Million and your
Call me on this number phone
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation in this regards.
Hon. Justice E. Ayoola
Chairman ICPC Nigeria.
(Independent Corrupt Practice Commission, ICPC)