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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "Office file" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2020 13:08:43 -0700
Subject: Attn. Dear Sir/Madam!"220.127.116.11 "
Attn. Dear Sir/Madam!
Please my dear the entire High Court Of ECOWAS Federal Republic of Nigeria are here to make it clear to you that there was a case that was been handling in this ECOWAS since FEBRUARY 29TH 2020 concerning your funds because we got some reports that you did not received your funds since after every story you heard regarding the funds and all type of payments you have be paid to receive the funds but none is
received by you.
And we are hereby to know the truth because the person that is in charge of the transaction said in this court here that you have received your funds and confirmed to him that you received your funds, Please we are here to hear the truth from you,because according to the president of this country Mr Muhammadu
Buhari, he told us that you did not receive your funds since last year he stated that his office did not have your name in file of those who received their funds from Nigeria. Please here below is what we want you to answer to enable us to handle this case normal as the reporter sai
(1)Do you receive any money from Africa............?.
(2)If you received money from him, how much.............?
(3)Through which way, bank or courier do you received the money from.?
(4) Is it true that you received money through western union .......?
(5) In which date or year.......................?
(6)Which authority approve the file .............?
More ever, the only amount found as your funds $10.5000,000.00 through your names, address and contact mobile details in which we have with us here that proved to us you are the really owner of the said unclaimed funds,So you are advice to update this court the way you wish whether you will come down in person to collect your fund yourself. And you should re-confirm your full information to this HIGH COURT as to proof to us that really you are the case
client for us to close check with the information we have with us here in monitoring searchlight system.
A...Your full Name..............
B...Your home address.......
F..your international passport/or drivers license /or state I.D
Also froward the major e-mail they used to scam you because we needs it for more investigation in other to make sure that we get them arrested. I means their names, their emails, their phone numbers and office addresses according to our programs and constitutions, you are advise to come down to this country
Federal Republic of Nigeria to appear before this court and sign your proper paper and collect your funds from us hand to hand. Remember,the reason why we advice you to come down in person to collect your fund yourself is because many Peoples were complaining about Fraudsters every day from Nigeria and we are trying to stop this fraudulent from Nigeria and assuring you that it will stop because we are now working with the IP operations and as well with FBI, we want you to keep this (F-H-C-E-B-R) because this will ensure and Alert you in any day you receive from a scam e-mail from this country and as soon as you comply
with your full contact information requested, we will forward everything to the Nigeria presidency office to issue out your funds certificate as the rightful beneficiary.
Get back in regarding of the fund to be made available to you in any way you wish and also any beneficiary are required to come down : But if he/she is unable or refuse to come down he/she required to pay sum of $350 for the None- Residence Minister Imprinter who will stand/sign on his/her behalf, With sum $350, the Minister Imprinter sign out your fund certificate as the rightful beneficiary ,so as to avoid any scam and the fee is just $350. So if you are not coming down here bear it in mind that you will pay sum of $350 Or if you have somebody whom you trusted you may send him or her to come and get your $10.500,000.00 onyour behalf and try to inform his or her to come to this office to sign or you pay $350 because is mandated according to the instruction. Do not delay because there is no time to be wasting any more since your case has been issued to treat on this month. Without wasting time, if you choose to send $350 for the Minister Imprinter, meaning you should use below details.
therefore we are waiting to hear from you with payment information or the date of your coming. Try to comply as urgent as because every necessary arrangement has being made already.
We are hereby assuring you that they will be arrested and you must
confirm them yourself.
Chief Justice of Nigeria
Mr. Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed