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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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: "Dr. Andy Zubel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2017 15:20:07 -0400
Subject: FROM: ATM/FOREIGN PAYMENT DEPARTMENT
FIRST BANK NIGERIA PLC.
ATM/FOREIGN PAYMENT DEPARTMENT
MY NAME IS DR. ANDY ZUBEL OF THE ATM/FOREIGN PAYMENT DEPARTMENT, FIRST BANK NIGERIA PLC, WHICH IS A LEADING GLOBAL FINANCIAL SERVICE. THE FIRM IS A WORLD KNOWN IN INVESTMENT BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES FOR CONSUMERS, SMALL BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL BANKING, FINANCIAL TRANSACTION PROCESSING, ASSET MANAGEMENT, AND PRIVATE EQUITY. FIRST BANK NIGERIA PLC SERVES MILLIONS OF CONSUMERS IN AFRICA, LONDON, ASIA, USA AND MANY OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.
BE INFORMED THAT WE THE FIRST BANK NIGERIA PLC HAVE RECEIVED INSTRUCTION FROM THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORLD BANK AND THE IMF DEPARTMENT TO RELEASE YOUR APPROVED OVER-DUE COMPENSATION/INHERITANCE FUND TO YOU. WE HAVE WITH US THE ENTIRE DOCUMENTATION AND APPROVALS REQUIRED FOR THE SMOOTH PAYMENT OF YOUR FUNDS TO YOU VIA ATM CARD.
YOU ARE AMONG THE THREE BENEFICIARIES WHO WILL RECEIVE A FULL PAYMENT OF EIGHT MILLION AND FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS($:8,500,000.00)ONLY FROM THE FIRST BANK NIGERIA PLC LAGOS UNDER THE COMPENSATION PAYMENT ACT OF THE UNITED NATION, THE IMF DEPARTMENT AND THE WORLD BANK.
YOUR PAYMENT PROCEDURE HAS ALREADY BEEN PERFECTED. YOU ARE REQUESTED TO GET BACK TO ME FOR MORE DIRECTIVES AND INSTRUCTIONS.
MOREOVER, AT THIS FINAL APPROVAL OF YOUR COMPENSATION/INHERITANCE FUND PAYMENT OF USD$:8,500,000.00 TO BE RELEASED TO YOU BY ATM CARD FROM MY DEPARTMENT, ONE MR. HANCOCK WALTER FROM WASHINGTON DC CONTACTED MY BANK REQUESTING FOR THE RELEASE OF YOUR FUNDS IN HIS NAME AS YOUR NEXT-OF-KIN. HE TOLD US THAT YOU DIED WEEKS AGO AFTER A BRIEF ILLNESS AND THAT YOU GAVE HIM YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY TO INHERIT THE FUNDS.
I APOLOGIZE TO YOU ON BEHALF OF THE FIRST BANK NIGERIA PLC IF WE HAVE RECEIVED FALSE INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR PAYMENT, AND FOR THE FAILURE/DELAY TO RECEIVE YOUR FUNDS EARLIER BEFORE NOW, WHICH ACCORDING TO RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN OVERDUE.
RECONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION TO US AS WE INVESTIGATE FURTHER ON YOUR PAYMENT AND THE INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY MR. HANCOCK WALTER.
YOUR FULL NAME:
AGE AND GENDER:
AS SOON AS WE READ YOUR EMAIL, WE SHALL PROCESS THE DELIVERY OF THE ATM CARD TO YOU VIA COURIER DELIVERY.
NOTE: WE WILL NOT HAVE ANY OPTION THAN TO PAY THE FUNDS TO MR. HANCOCK WALTER IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU WITHIN THE NEXT 72 BANKING HOURS.
DR. ANDY ZUBEL
ATM/FOREIGN PAYMENT DEPARTMENT