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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "nigeria national petroleum corporation" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss. Janice Ann " <Secretary .@themis.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Miss. Janice Ann " <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2018 08:23:47 +0900 (JST)
Subject: FROM WEST AFRICAN ECONOMIC AND CRIME AGENCY
WEST AFRICAN ECONOMIC AND CRIME AGENCY
Bureaux Des Task Force
Plot 272, Samuel Adesujo Ademulegun Street, Central Business District
P.M.B:315, Garki, Abuja
This is a reminder message regarding your ATM master card for your computational fund sum of US$4,500,000.00 (Four Million Five Hundred Thousand US dollars only) approved by the Ministry of Finance. The Foreign Payment Department of Escrow account of Central Bank of West Africa(BCEAO) and Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to handle the payment of your compensation fund of the above amount by ATM card. I wish to refer you to the Bankers Finance and security forum recently held in Addis-Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, which was graced by representatives of West African banks UBA.
In the course of this assembly, it was mutually agreed that the West African Foreign Payment Control Authorities should station a lasting solution/report on foreign transfers, wish Your email contact is amongst the shortlisted beneficiaries in the data for the sum of US$4,500,000.00. And I have been assigned by the management, to carry out delivery of the ATM card package to you. This compensation is in compliance with IMF and World bank directives to pacify victims of internet scam. On this note, I am pleased to inform you that your ATM card Number is 4539 7978 0214 3027 for the sum of $4,500,000.00 has been loaded in your favor and ready for immediate delivery to you.
You are hereby required to confirm your telephone number and present address were you want the ATM card delivered to you. Upon receipt of the above requirements from you I shall have your ATM card package dispatched to you by courier service who will deliver to your designated home address. With the ATM card, you can make withdrawals from any part of the world at ATM center near to you. The pin and all necessary user guides will be attached on delivery (intact in the ATM card package doc.) which will be delivered to you by the courier service, for your reason of use. Contact the email address provided below to begin the process of your ATM card and immediate dispatch.
Contact person: Dr.Camille Brown
Free to Call or Text SMS
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Direct Mobile Phone Number:
(3) Current Home Address:
(4) Fax Number if any:
(6) City & State:
Further instruction/directive will be sent to you on receipt of your
acknowledgment to this message.
Yours Sincerely ,
Miss. Janice Ann Sample
P.R.O West Africa Economic And Crime Agency