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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Chief.Tony Elumelu.<email@example.com>
Date: 30 Oct 2018 11:50:45 +0700
Subject: Did You Send Them
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Tel: Highly Confidential.
16 Walter Carrington Str. Ikoyi Lagos-Nigeria.
ASO ROCK VILLA, ABUJA ANNEX OFFICE.
>From the Desk of Chief.Tony Elumelu GCON.
Official Web Account: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Ref: FGN/OHG/OXD1/2016
Re:Release/Transfer Notice of your Approved Funds (US$3,000,
000.00). May you remain favored and I pray that this email will
find you in Good Spirits and of course always in the best of
health.This letter will definitely be amazing to you because of
its realistic value.Sorry for the inconveniences that was
rendered to you in your line of Inheritance Payment transaction
with some Nigerian Officials some while ago.
Without taking much of your time, my name is Chief. Tony Elumelu,
the Honorable Paymaster General of The Federal Republic of
Nigeria (UBA). Presently we are being paid by the American
government in other to avert Scam and also to avert beneficiary
funds delays here in Nigeria, So far, we have succeeded in
Settling (Mrs. Ann Keyser,Mr. Edward Drake, Mr. Caleb Jones etc.
Your Funds were returned to the Federal Government Treasury some
while ago because you did not finalize your claim
for it. A week ago, the Presidency and The Federal Executive
Council collectively agreed to release the sum of US$3,000,000.00
to you but to our surprise you sent down your representatives Mr.
Tim Parker and Mr. Rowland Gulf to collect this Funds on your
behalf, this morning.
For the fact that this Committee is faithfully in my full
governance as the Honorable Paymaster General of The Federal
Republic of Nigeria, i will like you to give me the authority to
transfer your Funds into their own Bank Account in Singapore
We await your immediate response via email and telephone .Reply
The Honorable Paymaster General.