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:
- 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)
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Okoh Mabel <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2018 05:37:33 -0800
Subject: International Audit unit
Read from the desk of Federal Ministry of Finance
We apologies for the delay of your payment and all the inconveniences we might put you through, while we were having some minor problems with our payment system which in all case not meeting up with fund beneficiary payments, we apologies once again.
From the records of outstanding contractors/inheritance due for payment with federal Government of Nigeria your name was discovered as next on the list out of the 11 outstanding contractors/inheritance who have not yet received their payments during the 4 years tenure of the previous administration in office please bear with us for making this initial contact through email. Meanwhile, a woman came to this our office this morning with bank details and also with a letter claiming to be your true representative and is willing to pay the wire/transfer charge of $95 to have the fund delivered to her. Here is her informationâs below.
Name: Mrs.Annette Stillman
Bank name: Citibank , Arizona , USA .
Account Number: 6503809008
Routing number: 322271627
Address: 1723 Palmdale Bulv
Please do reconfirm to this office as a matter of urgency if this woman is from you or not so that the federal government will not beheld responsible for paying into wrong account, if this woman is not your representative, you requested to fill and send this informationâs for verification purpose so that your fund valued ($4.700, 000.00 usd) will be remitted in to your nominated bank account.
Kindly reconfirm to the bank the following
1. Bank Name:
2. Bank account number:
3. Route number:
4. Swift code:
5. Beneficiary name:
6. Company name:
9. Working Id/ intâl Passport
11. Your telephone number
As soon as this information is received, your funds will be wired to your bank account directly from Royal Bank . We shall proceed to issue all payments details to the said Mrs. Annette Stillman if we do not hear from you within the next three working days from today. We are sorry for any inconvenience the delay in transferring of your fund must have caused you.
Federal Ministry of Finance
International Audit unit