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:
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Henry Yughut <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 13:44:10 -0700
Subject: Urgent reply Needed !!!
Nigeria Police Force Headquarters Office, Abuja-Nigeria,
P.O Box 3038 Louis Edet House, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja,
Direct Email: email@example.com
RECOVERY OF DIVERTED ATM CARD
I am contacting you personally to notify you of our discovery as well
as get some facts from you. Recently we arrested a Ghananian Citizen
who works with D.H.L office in Lagos with an ATM CARD bearing your
name on it as the beneficiary and the owner of the card. However the
entire parcel containing the proof of claim of ownership which
includes 4 digit secret PIN # was also in your name has so far been
recovered from him.
After we arrested and interrogated him, he confessed his name as Mr
Kwame Foster who works with the D.H.L office in Nigeria. He further
confessed that he was approached by a staff of a commercial Bank about
the diversion of a parcel containing ATM VISA CARD belonging to one
foreigner which he agreed and then they collaborated to divert your
ATM VISA CARD from been dispatched to the real destination.
To further conclude our investigation, we will like to hear from you
immediately to enable us send out your ATM card to you once your
information tallys with what we have here. Awaiting your immediate
response re-confirming your full contact details for verification so
that the card can be resent to you. The details we need are as
1. Your full names::
2. Your contact address::
3. Your Direct Phone Number::
Hon. Bello Osagie.
CID of The Nigerian Police Force.
Direct Email: firstname.lastname@example.org