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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: MR CHRIS OBI <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2022 15:12:14 -0800
Subject: POST OFFICE DELIVERY COMPANY
MUBARAK MUSE GUNAR HOUSE
PLOT 1279 MUHAMMAD BUKHARIN WAY
PMB 12537, GARIK 900001
CUSTOMERS SERVICE HOURS--MONDAY TO SATURDAY: OFFICE HOURS MONDAY TO SUNDAY:
THIS IS POST OFFICE DELIVERY COMPANY OF NIGERIA, THE MANAGEMENT OF
THIS COMPANY, WISHES TO INFORM YOU THAT, WE RECEIVED A CEL CONTAINING
AN ATM MASTER CARD VALUED $10.5 MILLION USD WITH SOME VITAL DOCUMENTS
ATTACHED ON IT, FOR SAFETY DELIVERY TO YOUR RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS IN
YOUR COUNTRY. THIS IS (PAYMENT OFFICE ) I AM DIRECTED TO INFORM YOU
THAT YOUR PAYMENT
VERIFICATION AND CONFIRMATIONS IS OK.YOUR ATM CARD NUMBERS
THIS PARCEL WAS BROUGHT TO US THIS MORNING BY UNITED BANK OF
AFRICA(UBA),WITH SOME INSTRUCTION FROM UNITED NATION AND INTERNATIONAL
MONETARY FUND(IMF) WITH THE BELOW INFORMATION'S, PLEASE RECONFIRM THE
BELOW INFORMATION, TO AVOID DELIVERY YOUR TM MASTER CARD TO A WRONG
PARCEL OWNER ADDRESS....
A COPY OF YOUR WORKING ID CARD
WE WILL REGISTER YOUR PACKAGE AND SEND YOU THE TRACKING NUMBERS BEFORE
WE PROCEED FOR SAFETY DELIVERY OF YOUR PACKAGE AS SOON AS YOU
RECONFIRM THE REQUIRED INFORMATION'S FOR SAFETY DELIVERY. POST OFFICE
IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREAT SUCCESS STORIES, THE START UP THAT
DELIVERY OF PACKAGES AND INFORMATION. IN THE PAST 30 YEARS, WE HAVE
GROWN UP AND GROWN INTO A DIVERSE FAMILY OF POST OFFICE THAT'S BIGGER,
STRONGER,BETTER THAN EVER
MR CHRIS OBI