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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: FROM NIGERIA POLICE FORCE <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:17:09 +0100
Subject: Do You Authorize This Woman To Claim Your Atm Card?
You may have been expecting an Atm card from a bank in Africa which has
never been delivered to you till date after several efforts you made to
retrieve the card.
We are pleased to inform you now that your transaction was wrongly handled
by cheats but God has exposed them and the secret behind your long
suffering over the receipt of your payment ATM card has been revealed to us
today as your ATM card with Ownership Certificate and other related
documents was caught in possession of one Phyllis Little at the departure
hall here in Lagos Airport.
The arrested criminal who attempted to smuggle out your Atm card to Atlanta
is claiming citizen of the United States as indicated in her ID which I
will send to you through email attachment for your perusal as soon as you
respond to this letter.
The criminal confessed she was aided by one Tunde Lemo who work with CBN
and one other Government official who is presently working with Federal
Ministry of Finance using her initiative to smuggle out the Atm card to the
USA so that they can withdraw all the funds loaded in the card and share.
This is criminality as the ATM card we recovered from her is bearing your
name as well as the related document attached herewith which is here in my
office while interrogation is still on as the arrested smuggler is now in
detention in the CELL while we proceed investigation to trace their agents
and crime partners for subsequent prosecution.
We have tried to call you with the phone number placed on the parcel with
no success but a man called me now from USA with a hidden number claiming
ownership of the card thereby asking us to redirect the ATM card to another
address he provided in California instead of the address placed on your
This is confusing as I do not know whom to believe at this point since the
content in the envelope(ATM CARD) can not be divided into two considering
the confessional statement made by the arrested person(Phyllis Little)who
told us you are the rightful owner of the fund loaded in the ATM card but
you died and made her your next of Kin.
Please confirm reality of this information by responding to this message
immediately as the Nigerian Police will not be held responsible if this ATM
card is shipped to the wrong person due to beneficiary's delay in response
Inspector Sailas Weba Nkem
Anti Crime Section Nigerian Police Post
Murtala Mohammed Intl Airport Lagos.