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:
- 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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "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 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Umaru Ibrahim" <"Umaru Ibrahim"@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2018 16:47:44 -0700
Subject: NDIC APPROVAL OF FUNDS
NIGERIAN DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (NDIC)
Mamman Kontagora House
23A, Marina Street.
P. M. B. 12881, Lagos.
Call Direct: +2348038208450
RE: APPROVAL OF FUNDS
I am Umaru Ibrahim, Managing Director/CEO at the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). This letter is coming to you to underscore the official and serious nature of the correspondence. You should treat with urgency and seriousness.We have currently been investigating a claim of fund currently held in favour of the above mentioned individual.
Incidentally, we have discovered during the course of the investigation that so many conflicting interests are working against the final completion of the transaction. This is because the delay on your part has made it possible for certain people who were originally involved in the transaction and now feel side tracked seem to know everything going on; and they are now putting stumbling blocks to the finalization of the transaction. Also, certain agencies that were responsible for your claim settlement have lost credibility. This is because the credit facility extended to them for the said payment has since expired, and as a result of that, they are unable to offset your fund.
Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, being the agency responsible for underwriting the guarantee for your claim has called for the re-transmittal of the funds from offshore credit. Under the Joint Regulatory Commission, we can appoint a sole fiduciary agent that will handle the transfer of your funds through a direct wire transfer option to your bank account as you may nominate or through an online bank transfer arrangement with our USA or South East Asian or United Kingdom fiduciary representative as you may choose.
Because of the anomalies and inconsistencies associated with the handling of the transaction in the past, it has become necessary for the paperwork to be reviewed and updated. That is why some money is needed to defray the cost of documentation and legalization. I will strongly suggest that you avoid further delay in this process. This way, we will be able to clear all impediments that have stood in the way of the transaction and at the same time, ensure that the fund gets successfully to you after all these years.
I must say this. This corporation came into this matter now for remedial purposes. It was during the course of our investigation of the claim that we discovered those anomalies and then, decided to assist. I request a constructive engagement in this matter, so that it can be resolved quickly.
Right now, my office is on top of the situation and will do everything possible to conclude this matter in a timely manner with your cooperation and adherence to advice and instructions.Your funds originated from a legitimate contract claim here. We are working under the auspices of the Joint Regulatory Commission, and we intend to speed up the process of your claim settlement.Respond immediately by telephone call or email correspondence with details of your claim and banking coordinates, so that you will be advised accordingly.