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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Professor Bolaji Owasanoye," <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2020 17:03:00 +0100
Subject: FUND RELEASE NOTIFICATION (Anti-Fraud Unit)
ICPC NIGERIA (Anti-Fraud Unit)
Head Office: Plot 802, Constitution AvenueZone A9 Central Area
P. M.B 535, Garki Abuja
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
We Fight Against Fraud, Funds Delay and Impersonation....
Attention Beneficiary ,
This letter will definitely be amazing to you because of its a
realistic value.Sorry for the inconveniences that was rendered to you
in your line of inheritance Payment transaction with some
impersonators some while ago. I know that this letter will hit you by
surprise, but firstly I will like to introduce myself; I am
(Professor Bolaji Owasanoye) the Legal chairman of "ICPC", (Nigeria's Anti-Fraud Unit).
On the 1st of October 2000, the President of The Federal Republic of
Nigeria (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo) introduced a Commission named the
"ICPC", (Nigeria's Anti-Fraud Unit) which is duly registered under the
United Nations (U.N.O), This particular Commission was initiated to
detect fraud/funds delay/impersonation of Government
Officials.Secondly,we were mandated by the US Government and the FBI
to settle foreign debts/fraud victims/UN-paid beneficiaries in other
to maintain peace in the world at large and also to create a good
relationship with the international bodies. Presently, we are being
paid by the American government in other to avert beneficiary funds
delays/fraud here in Nigeria.So far, we have settled (Mrs. Mary
Mason,Mr. Greg Mendez etc).
You are being contacted by this office today dated because your Case
File (A) is on our Settlement Files priority. From our intelligent
investigations and Probing processes we discovered that you have been
denied your claim. The "ICPC", is faithfully under my governance as
the Legal Chairman of the great Commission and on this Authority I
took an oath of allegiance to settle all fraud victims peacefully.
This Memorandum is to notify you that you will be settled by the
Nigerian Government from our initial Deposit Account with CBN on the
approval of our legal department.
You will be settled with the actual amount which you lost in your
previous transaction, including your Inheritance Funds.Your settlement
will be actualized within 7working days after your response to this
For further clarifications/investigation kindly send the below
information to us immediately:
1. Your Full Names.....
2. Your residential address.
3. Mobile and fax number (for regular official contact).....
4. Your inheritance funds value.....
5. Amount, which you have lost previously....
6. Scan copy of your International Passport/Drivers License...
This above-mentioned information will officially enable us to carry
out our verification processes and after that your compensation
sum/Inheritance Funds will be Electronically wired into your
designated Bank account,or any of your choice of receiving your
Your immediate compliance to this office will expedite action,Email me
We await your urgent response and for more clarifications.
Officially Closed by,
Professor Bolaji Owasanoye,
Chairman ICPC Nigeria