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:
- "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. )
- "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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2019 05:52:04 +0300
Subject: Re: READ CAREFULLY AND GET BACK TO ME.
FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC
Marina- Lagos Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Attn: David Collett
This is a reminder message regarding your ATM Master card for your
compensation fund in the sum of US$15,500,000.00 (Fifteen Million Five
Hundred Thousand US Dollars only) approved by the Ministry of Finance.
The Foreign Payment Department of FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC has been
mandated by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to handle the payment of your
compensation fund of the above amount by ATM card. Your email contact is
amongst the listed beneficiaries in the data for the sum of
US$15,500,000.00. And I have been assigned by the management of CBN 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 ATM card Number 5061 050266 3170 19792 for the sum of
US$15,500,000.00 has been credited in your favor and ready for immediate
delivery to you. You are hereby required to re-confirm your:
Present address where you want the ATM card to be 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 number 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 easy use.
Note: You are to pay for ONLY the delivery fee of $195USD which the
details will be given to you and for verification and confirmation you
are to call me on this number +2347084969117
Further instruction/directive will be sent to you on receipt of your
acknowledgment to this message.
Mr. Peterson Edwin
FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC