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:
- "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. )
- "moneygram" (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. )
- 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.
- MoneyGram money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. Along with Western Union it is a preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "Mrs.Abisilah Odede" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2021 10:09:12 +0100
Subject: FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY.
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY.
RUE 2067 OKOTA VILLA NIGERIAN
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIAN .
RE-IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF 3.8M
My name is Mrs. Abisilah Odede the secretary to the Federal Ministry of
Finance Republic of Nigerian west Africa to be precise, I hereby to
bring to your notice about your immediate payments of $3.8m.your funds
$3.8m has being deposited to the Guarantee Trust Bank Plc (GTB) and this
deposit was made officially by our seating president Alhaji. Mohamed
Buhari with this deposit certificate number,200089748 and he order the
said bank to transfer the funds to your account as soon as you contact
During his campaign for his second term in the office of the president
then he received a lot of complaint from the international community and
united nations as well that a lot of scams has being going on in this
country and with this reason he vow that if he assume the office for the
second term as president then he is going to deal with the issue of the
scammers and pay the people that were involves on it in the pass And
your name was found on the list that was submitted to our office
recently that your yet to be paid.
And through the legal information arrives to us here that most of the
scammers are using western union and MoneyGram for the scamming
activities, telling the innocent people that western union will pay them
such big amount of money. We want to let you know today that western
union has no right to handle such payments so stop wasting your time
Your funds $3.8m can only be transfer to your Account online by
Guarantee Trust Bank Plc the appointed bank by the federal government to
transfer your funds directly to your account once you contact them with
all your bank details.
The funds were available at the bank now and the bank Manager Mr.Abbey
Billy has being waiting for you to contact them today for your payments.
So contact the Guarantee Trust Bank Immediately you receive this email
message and you can also call the Manager on phone and ask him to
transfer your funds into your provided account.
This is the Contact E-mail Address of the GUARANTEE TRUST BANK PLC.(GTB)
Contact E-mail..( email@example.com )
Contact Person Mr.Abbey Billy Manager
Please Do not forget to contact the Guarantee Trust Bank Plc with all
your bank details such as follows
1. Full Name And Address ......
2. Your Bank Account Number..
3.Swift Code Number..
4. The Bank Name ...........
5. The address of your bank....
Note that the funds were deposited with the Insurance bond and this is
the insurance certificate number, 0529, So feel free to contact the
directed Bank Immediately ,The Guarantee Trust Bank May request the fee
of $200.00 from you which will serve as the NON- RESIDENT FEE as you
dont have an account with them according to the Bank Manager. And the
$200.00 was the only fee needed on this transaction and as you are
contacting them today then ask them where you can send the $200.00 to
them to get your funds transferred to your account online immediately.
Do let me know immediately you receive the funds. God bless you as I
wait to hear from you soon.
From Federal Ministry of Finance.