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.
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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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your country for safe keeping" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Ibrahim Ayuba" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 01:41:21 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend, your cooperation is needed from Federal Ministry of Aviation
Federal Ministry of Aviation
I hope this mail will reach you in the best of health and business
conditions and receive the most desired attention from you even as we have
not had any previous correspondence before.I am constrained by insufficient
information about you to express in full the main objectives of this
proposal. However, kindly get back to me immediately for details should be
given you if you agree to its content.
My colleagues and I would like to solicit your kindness in assisting us to
execute the transfer of some fund from our country to your country for safe
keeping. The total amount of fund is $23.8 Million.The source of this fund
will be disclosed to you as soon as your positive response is received to
I am a principal accountant to the Nigerian Ministry of Aviation, and the
Chairman to the Federal Tenders' Board in charge of contract award and
monitoring in Nigeria. Basically, you would be required to nominate a
suitable bank account that will conveniently accommodate the total fund.
Account could be a fresh or an already existing one, and could be
individual or corporate account.
On completion of the transaction, you shall have a benefit of 30% of the
fund for your envisaged efforts and assistance rendered. 10% shall be used
to settle any expenses both you and I shall make at the course of this
transaction. Details of this proposal will be sent to you as soon as your
response is received.Meanwhile send us the following information:
Your full names and home address
Your direct phone/fax numbers
Your company name and address if any
Your bank details
This proposal is strictly confidential, free from any form of risk and does
not depend on any particular field of trade to prosecute. It however
requires your adequate participation and support to enable its
accomplishment on schedule.Thanks in anticipation.