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:
- "mobilization fee" (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. )
- "consultation fee " (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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- delta state nigeria direct telephone: +2348118692512 email:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Owowa E. Egobia" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2018 10:46:51 +0100
Subject: Contact me immediately.
I am Barrister Owowa E. Egobia, I am a Human Right lawyer and activist. It is my pleasure to write you concerning this good news, the Nigeria Anti Fraud Unit arrested one Mr. Princewell Arinze a Fraudster Kingpin. During interrogations he confessed that he duped you and some many other people of a lot of money which he used to build many houses, buy landed properties, cars and shares from companies. It may interest you to know that the said fraudster will be sued to court for perpetuated act of fraud, forgery and impersonation. I will put your name in a suit case against him and stand in as your attorney. Be informed that you will not pay me anything as i run an NGO that fight for fraud victims and less privileged. You will not be charged for consultation fee or mobilization fee. All i need is your cooperation to get justice prevail. You are to as a matter of urgency confirm to us your full name, address and mobile phone number to prepare the case file.
I will awaits your prompt response.
Barrister Owowa E. Egobia
Owowa law firm and human rights foundations.
529 Denis osankwa road, Asaba
Delta State Nigeria
Direct Telephone: +2348118692512