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:
- 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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "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.
- 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.
- 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: "Dr.Greg Dada" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 19:56:54 +0100
Subject: To whom it may concern : Contract Payment with PAYMENT (FILE NO. - PED/OXG/4780/18).
FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE
Metropolitan Police Service - Working together for a safer Nigeria
Lion Building House Ikoyi Lagos Nigeria.
Tel: +234 -7019479416
Our Ref: FTF/DPT/FUND-XXXNG............. Your Ref:......................
Date 29th August, 2018
To whom it may concern : Contract Payment with PAYMENT (FILE NO. -
RE:SETTLEMENT OF LONG AWAITED OVERDUE AMOUNT
PAYMENT FILE NO. - PED/OXG/4780/18
Congratulations to you. I am directed with this great news to inform
you that Mr.President has empowered the Investigation bureau office of the
Economic & Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to curb all illicit
transaction which we have confirmed that you have been paying unsolicited
and sending money through Western union and Money gram, in the process to
receive your fund to fake agencies claiming to work for us.
It is quite unfortunate that many things has gone wrong in the past with
delay receiving your fund before now based on the information we have
received through the investigation office of the (EFCC) on how you have
been sending Thousands of Dollars to unapproved and swinglers over the past
years now with no end claiming to be a government officials.
The good news for you now,is that we have arrested 13 persons from both
International Monetary Fund United Nations,and other BANKS officials who
are behind these evil acts to extort money from foreign citizens abroad in
the name to assist you re-claim your funds
Note,these are impostors, and enemies to the Nigeria government to tarnish
the good reputation of Nigeria,internationally for there selfish interest
and to enrich there pockets.
However,it is a great pleasure to inform you that we have concluded all
modalities in place to ensure that your long expected overdue inheritance
fund in total amount of $16,500,000.00 USD is finally transfer to your
account now that the Nigeria government has come up with the new policy to
checkmate all agencies and to fish out every corrupt persons and hoodlums
that have be spoiling the good image of our great country in and misleading
innocent citizens to fraudulent activities.
We therefore urge you to respond back immediately to this email by
providing all your:
(3)Means of identifications I:D
(4)Direct Phone/Fax for the immediate fund release as soon as possible.
Please you need to act fast because we have setup a pannel that will
monitor this transaction and to ensure that your righful overdue
inheritance is transfer to you without any further delay.
You are advice to call me as soon as possible via Tel: +234 -7019479416
for directives on how to receive your payment urgently.
Yours in service
(Monitoring Department)for Mr.President