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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "abuja" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister.Ahmed Ali" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2020 03:20:33 -0800
Subject: YOUR ($8.500,000.USD) IS READY TO SEND TO YOU NOW.
High Court of the Federal Capital
Territory Plot 426 Tigris Crescent Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
Maitama, Abuja, FCT Â· 09 273 3084
ATTN: Fund Beneficiary!
I am a Barrister from the Federal High Court Republic of Nigeria, I am
writing this email to inform you officially that your fund file has
been approved by the Presidential Office here and we have sent your
information to Federal Ministry of Finance to release your fund
immediately. The Office of Federal High Court Nigeria has taken charge
after a long delay by other agencies like IMF, due to mismanagement.
It is important to know that I am the Attorney General who applied to
release of your fund totaling Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand
United State Dollars ($8.500,000.USD) Yes, I did it because it has
become known and shameful to our government that some of agencies here
could not handle an international transaction, as such. We do
apologize for the mismanagement of the IMF and other agencies and
advise you to quit communication with any of them. Your fund will be
released to you soon:you will not face any disappointment in this
Furthermore, we had the Ambassador of your country here signed stamped
your fund documents in our office. This is legally because it will
ensure that the government of your country will not stop your fund
when you start withdrawing.Finally, it is interesting to know that the
management of Ministry of Economy and Finance (Nigeria) had issued an
irrevocable approval order with Release Code: GNC/3480/02/22 in your
favor for the inheritance entitlement/award winning payment.
Transaction ID: #8345014. To this effect, International monetary fund
(IMF) has deposited your fund since 17th July 2020. Hence, you are to
contact the current Minister of Economy and Finance (Nigeria), at
below information for instructions on how to get your funds:
Name: (Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed),
Tel: (00234 7018633 054)
(SAN),GENERAL ATTORNEY OF REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.