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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ray Egoma" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:14:33 +0300
Subject: IMPORTANT MESSAGE
My Dear Good Friend,
My Name is Mr.Ray, one of the Assistant Regional Managers with the
Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC). My official
responsibility relates to contract review and payment. Fortunately,
I'm privileged to know about pending contract payments that have
remained unclaimed over the years. Such pending payments are subject
to further review and re-assignment, as the need arises. If we have a
reliable group or company or person for such re-assignment exercise,
we can proceed with the necessary machinery that can warrant payment
to this new reliable party/ beneficiary. We need your understanding,
interest and cooperation to realize this objective.
This reassignment will entail your making available to us the following:
1, Your company name, office and home address.
2, Your confidential phone line.
3, Your bank details, where you enjoy the confidentiality of your bankers.
Please be informed that we have pending unclaimed contract
sums,ranging from US$10 Million to over a $100 Million Dollars.
Please inform me in honesty the amount or volume of cash that your
given account can absorb without any query or questions.
Looking forward to your sincere and urgent reply through my personal
Mr. Ray Egoma.