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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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: "Dr. Rashid M. Osama" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 05:02:14 +0100
Subject: Attn: Fund beneficiary, Waiting For Your Response.
FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENT OFFICE
(MEMBER IBRD, IDA & WORLD BANK)
FEDERAL SECRETARIATE COMPLEX
GARKI, ABUJA -NIGERIA
Tel: +234 9093496579, Tel/Fax: +234-9-2340512
Attn: Fund beneficiary,
From the desk of Rashid M. Osama.
REF: ENDORSEMENT OF FUND RELEASE AUTHORITY ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS AND THE
RELEASE OF PART PAYMENT OF US$4.7M OUT OF YOUR OVERDUE CLAIM VIA DIRECT
ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFER
This is to notify you that our office received a payment notification
dated 3rd November 2021 from the United Nations to process and release
your payment within 72hrs before the end of the Forth Quarter of the
2021 Fiscal Year. The directive resulted from a petition directed to the
World Bank by some foreign fund beneficiaries from America, Europe and
Asia who appealed to the high powered international institutions to come
to their rescue by ensuring the release of their Contract, Compensation,
Inheritance and Lottery Claims payment.
On the strength of the petition, the World Bank in collaboration with
the United Nations and Nigerian Government through the authorization of
the new UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed directed our
office to investigate the circumstances leading to the present impasse
and use our position to finalize your payment. The directive we received
mandated our office to stop un-official misconduct, deliberate delay on
foreign payment through unnecessary use of bureaucratic procedures,
diversion of funds to other accounts that is not authorized by the
beneficiary and imposition of unauthorized fees. The World Bank further
issued directives to international banks oversea and local banks in
Nigeria, the CBN, Payment Committees and all international financial
institutions to hands off all payments and hand over beneficiariesâ
payment files to our office. This is to avoid duplication of assignment
and to avoid creating confusion in the payment process. It is quite
obvious that some of these offices might hesitate to let you know of
this new order due to their ulterior motive.
In accordance with this new directive from the World Bank an urgent
meeting of vital government stakeholders, international and local
financial institutions, CBN and government committees was summoned by
our office. During the meeting a lot of irregularities and
misrepresentation of fact and irregular/unauthorized change of account
was revealed. In the process, we discovered you have not endorsed the
Fund Release Authority original documents backing your payment. There is
no trace of any such document in your file. Apparently, this is the
major reason your payment hasnât been released. You may agree with me
that the offices (real or fictitious) you are dealing with presently
will tell you otherwise because of their ulterior motive. This is the
reason why after several payments you have made; your payment is yet to
be released to you. Note also that the information contained in your
payment file which was forwarded to our office from the Federal Ministry
of Finance shows that your payment is among the âPriority Classâ which
implies your payment is long over-due.
Consequently, to avoid payment to wrong beneficiary you are directed to
contact the undersigned on Tel: +234 9093496579 or
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org for further details concerning the
endorsement of the classified documents which will facilitate the
release of your payment without further delay. Note that our office,
Federal Government or the United Nations will not be held liable for
wrong payment should you refuse to comply. Once you comply your payment
file will be reconciled, normalized and regularized before the
endorsement so that your overdue payment can be released 24hr
thereafter. Swift response is required to enable our office to conclude
your payment within 72hrs.
Note that it will cost you a token fee to process the original documents
and arrange the paperwork for you to sign so that the fund will be wired
within 24hrs. Itâs a wild goose chase without the endorsement of this
twelve paged hard copy document.
Dr. Rashid M. Osama
DIRECTOR OF PAYMENT
CC: UNITED NATIONS