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:
- "my names are " (a common phrase found 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.
- 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: OVERDUE PAYMENT RELEASED <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2020 12:33:54 +0100
Subject: RE:OVERDUE PAYMENT RELEASED FROM AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
African Development Bank Abuja-Nigeria
Nigeria Country Office (NCFO)
1521 Cadastral Zone A0
Off Memorial Close
Central Business District
Abuja (Regional Disbursement office)
TEL:+ 2349-029-559602 FAX: +234-1 7790009
I have the pleasure to introduce myself to you before going into my main
reason for contacting you. My names are Mr. Andy Fred Ochil, the Director
General in African Development Bank (AfDB).
I am contacting you in regards to your total funds which have been overdue
for payment but still floating in our Foreign Reserve Account as unclaimed
funds. I am contacting you based on what I discovered in your payment file
I know must be the main reason you have not been paid till date. I
discovered in your payment file some irregularities and discrepancies which
might cause the delay in paying you. It is all about your inability to meet
up with the Bank requirements because you are lacking some vital documents
in your payment file which I know must be the cause of the delay in
releasing your funds to you.
I will appreciate you getting back to me on receipt of this message to
enable me know how I can assist you in this matter because your funds have
been lying unclaimed for a very long time in my bank. You can call me on
the following telephone number for more details. Direct Line: +
Mr. Andy Fred Ochil,
The Director General in African Development Bank (AfDB).