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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- 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: "Mr. Jim Ovia (MD)." <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2020 01:07:33 +0100
Subject: Mr. Jim Ovia (MD)
Zenith Bank Plc.
Plot 84 Ajose Adeogun Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos.
Good Day To You,
(NOTICE OF COMPENSATION)
My office received your information sent to us by the United Nations and Nigeria Government to pay your, $2.5million USD (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars). As compensation, which you are entitled to. On behalf of my office please accept my apology for the bitter experience you suffered in the past, regarding this very matter, while reassuring you that the present intervention of UN and Nigeria Government strong resolution has signaled the final end of such problem.
On that important note, I wish to duly inform you, that you are required to send any of your identification items such as your driver License or International Passport without any further delay. This is very important considering the fact that this payment excise is a sensitive issue, because a Special Monitoring Unite comprising UN Agents and their Nigeria counterpart is keeping 24hrs surveillance in my office in making sure the aimed desire of this excise is achieved with utmost success.
So please the advised procedure as mentioned above always afford us the opportunity not to pay to a wrong person. Meanwhile, your file is currently undergoing final regularization with the legal department of this management for the onward final payment of the said fund in your favor.
Call me as soon as you receive this latter as confirmation; my office awaits your immediate response. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your prompt response will be highly appreciated at this point. We are willing to serve you better; my office awaits your immediate response.
Mr. Jim Ovia (MD).