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:
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Kingsley Moghalu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2021 11:30:29 +0100
Subject: Message regarding your ATM Master card for your compensation fund.
This is a reminder message regarding your ATM Master card for your
compensation fund in the sum of US$1,570,000.00 (One million Five
hundred and Seven thousand US dollars only) approved by the Ministry
of Finance. The Foreign Payment Department of CBN has been mandated by
the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation to handle the payment of your compensation fund of the
above amount by ATM card. Your email contact is amongst the listed
beneficiaries in the data for the sum of US$1,570,000.00. And I have
been assigned by the management of CBN to carry out delivery of the
ATM card package to you.
This compensation is in compliance with IMF and World bank directives
to pacify victims of internet scam. On this note, I am pleased to
inform you that ATM card Number 8539 7578 0114 3023 for the sum of
US$1,570,000.00 has been credited in your favor and ready for
immediate delivery to you. You are hereby required to re-confirm your
full names, telephone number and present address where you want the
ATM card to be delivered to you.
Upon receipt of the above requirements from you I shall have your ATM
card package dispatched to you by courier service who will deliver to
your designated home address. With the ATM card, you can make
withdrawals from any part of the world at ATM center near to you. The
pin number and all necessary user guides will be attached on delivery
(intact in the ATM card package doc.) which will be delivered to you
by the courier service, for your easy use.
Further instruction/directive will be sent to you on receipt of your
acknowledgment to this message.
Office of the Deputy Governor
Tel:+234 903 222 5207