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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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: DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2020 15:38:29 +0100
Subject: TRANSFER NOTIFICATION
*THE DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE NIGERIAHead OfficeNDIC Building (1st
Floor),Plot 447/448 Constitution Avenue,Central Business District,P.M.B.
532, GarkiAbuja, Nigeria.Website: www.dmo.gov.ng <http://www.dmo.gov.ng/>*
*Direct Tel: +234 708 644 9077 *
I write you on my capacity as the Director General of Debt Management
Office of Nigeria
Upon my assumption of office, I have investigated and found out that your
inheritance funds valued US$15 Million have not been released to you over
a long time.
This is very sad because enough funds were mapped out for your payment and
that of other beneficiaries.
Your delayed payment was caused by the corrupt bank officials and I have
written a petition against them and all of them have been arrested and now
been prosecuted in the Law Court.
My job is to investigate all outstanding debts owed to Foreign
Beneficiaries and affect their immediate payment.
You are one of the beneficiaries that are qualified to receive their
payment and this is the reason I am contacting.
You are entitled to receive the sum of US$15,000,000.00(Fifteen Million
United States Dollars) as inheritance payment.
You are required to send the following:
1. Full Names
4. Any of your National Identity
5. Your Bank information
The above required information is needed for processing and transferring
Your immediate response will facilitate your early payment.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mrs. Patience Oniha
Director-General, Debt Management Office, Nigeria