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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abuja" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MINISTRY OF FINANCE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2020 00:35:02 -0700
Subject: Attn: Benefactor
Federal Secretariat Complex,
4th Floor, Shehu Shagari Way,
Garki, Central, Abuja- Nigeria.
RE: CHANGE OF ACCOUNT ON YOUR CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT FILE.
I am Mike Okon from the Finance Minister Office, recently a counter claims request on your fund payment
by one Mr. RAINER HESSE, who is presently trying to make us believe that you have being infected with COVID-19 pandemic
now under quarantine and explained that you entered into an agreement with him to help you to receive your fund .
Also I had received a sworn affidavit from Mr.RAINER HESSE of Germany
to re-route your payment into a new bank account number as stated
VACAP Federal Credit Union, 1700 Robin Hood
Road, Richmond, VA 23220.
Account number 3250165901.
We shall proceed to issue all payments details to the said Mr. RAINER HESSE,
if we do not hear from you within the next two working days from today.
However, you are advice to reply me immediately and confirm if Mr. RAINER HESSE is really from you or not.
We have taken full control of the situation to verify all contract /inheritance debt
in conjunction with the united nations monitoring unit .
If you are the beneficiary, Please contact us now immediately to avoid wrong funds payment transfer.
Send the following information to enable me to process your fund and Transfer direct to your bank account...
1. Your Full Name and Address.
3. Scan copy of your ID
4. Next of kin
5. Your full amount
6. Direct Telephone Number
A soon as the account is activated your fund will be transferred.
Please note that you have less than 48hrs to get in contact with the Paying bank
before they proceed to issue all payments to the said Mr. RAINER HESSE.
Dr, Mike Okon.
Finance Minister Office