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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "affidavit of claim" (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. )
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- street, victoria island lagos, nigeria. e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org payment file: zbpl/ben35/17. attention :sir/madam it was (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Peter Amangbo" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 06:01:10 -0700
From The Desk Of Mr.Peter Amangbo,
CEO, Foreign Payment,
Zenith Bank Int'l Plc.
Plot 84, Ajose Adeogun Street,
Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria.
PAYMENT FILE: ZBPL/BEN35/17.
It was Resolved and Agreed that you should be notified base on the instruction received with affidavit of claim and Power of attorney filed against you claiming that your fund should be released to them as you are hospitalized for about three months . Mr Ben Phillip and Meagan Leste Commerce Dr Warwick, RI 02886-2470 of USA forwarded the these document to this office and seek permission to transfer the fund to their account as your partner and you are very sick. Could you pleased verity this account below before wire transfer is made
HSBC BANK USA.
452 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK NY 10018-2706
SWIFT CODE; MRMDUS 33
CREDIT TO; FINANCIAL BANK SWIFT CODE; FIBBBJBJ
ACCOUNT NO; 55139678
BENF; EXPRESS CASH.
I wish to notify you that as soon as we hear from you concerning this account then we will not waste to transfer the fund to the account provided to this office
Be informed that after three working days no response from you then the fund will be transfer to the new account.Respond to this email:email@example.com if you did not send them
Mr.Peter Amangbo (CEO)
Zenith Bank Int'l Plc