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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "stamp duty" (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. )
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- 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: DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 11:42:03 -0900
Subject: DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE, NIGERIA
We are happy to inform you that, President Muhammadu Buhari, president
Federal Republic of Nigeria has on this new year Federal Executive
Council (FEC) meeting, instructed that, all payment be made to
beneficiaries without further delay.
This instruction takes effect immediately and without protocols which
means that, all charges, fees and taxes are hereby waved as you are
ONLY expected to pay the AAFIDAVIT AND STAMP DUTY of $180 only.this is
because no court would issue AFFIDAVIT free hence, all stipulating
approval documents shall be forwarded to you.
This development supersedes every arrangement made before now for debt
settlement. The move is to restore our long lost international
credibility due to corrupt officials.this move will also help to lift
SOME VISA ban imposed on Nigeria by some European and American
You are to respond to this notice with your bank information where
your fund is to be wired into along with the $180 Telegraphic screen
Once this is done, we are obligated to transfer your fund as
instructed without protocols or hitch.
Mr. Miji Amidu
Director-General, special assignment, debt management office FGN
NDIC Building (1st Floor),Plot 447/448 Constitution Avenue,
Central Business District,
P.M.B. 532, Garki Abuja, Nigeria
Direct phone: +234-9067445407