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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- ",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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "cotonou" (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: "Fbi Contact Center" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2019 01:15:21 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.
J. Edgar Hoover Building, 935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001 USA.
FBI.gov is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice.
This is the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) using this medium to inform you that there is no more time left to waste because you have been given Since January till this moment and you have failed to secure the required Wire Transfer Documents from Office of the Presidency as stated earlier and you must adhere to this directives to avoid you blaming yourself at last when we must have arrested and jailed you and all your properties confiscated.
You failed to comply with our directives to secure the Wire Transfer Document from Office of the Presidency and that was the reason why we didn't hear from you on the 3rd of October as promised and our Executive Director Mr. Christopher Wray, Jr has already been notified about this situation report and to get the process completed you have to secure the Wire Transfer Documents from Office of the Presidency immediately with the help of Mr. JOE KEN or the warrant of arrest which has been signed against you will be carried out in the next 72hours as strictly signed by the FBI Executive Director Mr. Christopher Wray.
As a good Christian and a honest man, I have decided to see how I could be of help to you because I would not be happy to see you end up in jail and all your properties confiscated, I called Mr. JOE KEN of the Office of the Presidency who will help you secure the Wire Transfer Documents and he stated that he will assist you as soon as you send to him the sum of US$150.00 Only and I believe this process is cheaper for you.
You need to do everything possible within today and tomorrow to send the US$150.00 to JOE KEN who will help you secure the Wire Transfer Documents in your name because our Executive Director Mr. Christopher Wray, Jr has called to inform me that the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and once it has been approved, then the arrest will be carried out and from our investigations we learnt that you were the person that forwarded your identity to one impostor/fraudsters in NIGERIA when he had a deal with you about the transfer of some illegal funds into your Bank Account which is valued at the sum of US$10,500,000.00.
I pleaded with the FBI Executive Director Mr. Christopher Wray, Jr on your behalf so that this agency could give you 72 hours so that you can secure the Wire Transfer Documents with the help of Mr. JOE KEN as soon as you send the sum of US$150.00 to him as this is the only way that I can be able to help you at this moment or you would have to face the law and its consequences once it has befall you.
Make sure that you don't hesitate in making the payment of US$150.00 to the name stated above so that Mr. JOE KEN will help you secure the Wire Transfer Documents in your name and then after all this process has been carried out we would have to proceed to the paying Bank for the transfer of your compensation funds which is valued at the sum of US$10,500,000.00 which was suppose to have been transferred to you all this while.
Here is the information to send the $150
Receiver Name...JOE KEN
Text Answer..Is Good
Note: all the crime agencies have been contacted on this regards and we shall trace and arrest you if you disregard this instructions. You have been given 72 hours to make the payment so that Mr. JOE KEN will help you secure the Wire Transfer Documents and if you fail, you will be arrested and tried in the court for Terrorism, Money Laundering and Drug Trafficking Charges, so be warned not to try any thing funny because you are been watched.
Thanks for your co-operation.
For the FBI Office
Associate Deputy Director