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:
- 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:
- "clearance fee" (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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS CARMAN L.YOUNG" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2022 13:17:14 +0100
Subject: From Mrs.Carman Lapointe-Young...Get Back To Me
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
Internal Audit, Monitoring,Consulting And Investigations Division.
>From Mrs. Carman Lapointe-Young,
This is to inform you that I came to Nigeria yesterday from
London,after series of complains from the FBI and other Security
agencies from Asia, Europe, Oceania, Antarctica,South America and the
United States of America respectively, against the Federal Government
of Nigeria and the British Government for the rate of scam activities
going on in these two nations.For more information about me kindly
click on the below link or copy and paste on your web browser.
I have met with President Mohammed Buhari of Nigeria and some
other top concerned banks officials here in Nigeria who claimed that
they have been trying their best to make sure you receive your fund in
Right now,as directed by our secretary general Mr.AntÃ³nio Guterres,We are
working in collaborations with the Nigerian Economic and Financial
Crime Commission (EFCC) and have decided to waive away all your
clearance fees/Charges and authorize the Government of Nigeria to
effect the payment of your compensation of an amount of
(US$10,500,000,00) approved by both the British government and the UN
into your account without any delay.The only fee you will pay to
confirm your fund in your account,is your Notarization fee to the UN.
get back to us with your banking information,
Sincerely,you are a lucky person because I have just discovered that
some top Nigerian and British Government Officials are interested in
your fund and they are working in collaboration with One Mr.Richard
Graves from USA to frustrate you and thereafter divert your fund into
their personal account.
Since my stay here in Nigeria, i have been holding series of meetings
which makes it difficult for me to answer your calls, but you can call
my assistant Rev.John Morgan who came to Nigeria with me, on the number
which I just acquired in Nigeria today: +2348180776691.
I have a very limited time to stay in Nigeria here so I would like you
to urgently respond to this message so that I can advise you on how
best to confirm your fund in your account within the next 72 hours.
Mrs. Carman Lapointe-Young.
United Nations Under-Secretary-
General for Internal Oversight.