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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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: Clement Agba <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2021 08:29:58 +0100
Subject: Re: You Are The Beneficiary.
Mr. Clement Agba
Minister for State Finance Ministry .
I am Mr. Clement Agba , Minister for State Finance Ministry; my office
monitors and controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions
in Nigeria concerned with foreign contract payments. I am the final
signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks
both on the local and international levels in line to foreign contracts
I have before me a list of funds, which could not be transferred to some
nominated accounts as these accounts have been identified either as ghost
accounts, unclaimed deposits and over-invoiced sums etc. I write to present
you to the federal government that you are among the people expecting the
funds to be transferred into their account, on this note; I wish to have a
deal with you as regards the unpaid certified contract funds. I have every
file before me and the data will be changed to your name to enable you to
receive the fund into your nominated bank account as the beneficiary of the
fund's $21.3 Million U.S.D.
As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the
Federal Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as unclaimed deposits, I
have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions I received 2
days ago from the Senate Committee on Contract Payments /Foreign Debts to
submit the List of payment reports / expenditures and audited reports of
revenues. Among several others, I have decided to remit this sum following
my idea that we have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.
1. You will give me 40% of your contract funds as soon as you confirm it in
your designated bank account..
2. This deal must be kept secret forever, and all correspondence will be
strictly by email / telephone, for security purposes.
3. There should be no third parties as most problems associated with your
fund release are caused by your agents or representatives.
If you AGREE with my conditions, l advise you on what to do immediately and
the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name
on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the three days mandate. I hope
you don't reject this offer and have the funds transferred. Waiting for
your reply soon. Please forward all your replies to my above private email
but I can confirm to you about my identity via my official email address;
MR. CLEMENT AGBA
MINISTER FOR STATE, FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE