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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "lagos" (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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "REV. PAUL S. MARTIN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 07:31:03 -0700
>From The Office Of The Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Nigeria, Mr.
Address: 7TH FLOOR DEVELOPMENT BUILDING AJAO ESTATE SURULERE LAGOS
NIGERIA.Email: email@example.com, Tell: 234-1-2788000,
070ZENITHBANK, Website: www.zenitthbankng.com
TO WHOM IT MAY MAY CONCERN
The Information Reaching My Office Is That You Have A Valid Sum Of $3.5
Million US Dollars In Our Bank Reserved Account. But You Are Doing Nothing
To Receive Your Sum. I Was Called This Morning By Our Honorable Minister Of
Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed To Cancel Your Fund Allocation And Hand It
Over To A New Client.
So I Write To Inform You Of The New Development And Also Wants To Know Why
Do You Choose To Let Your Sum That Was Allocated To You, To Just Go Like
Meanwhile, My Question Is Do You Want Your Fund Allocation Cancelled?, If
YES Or NO, Contact The Director Of Payment Department With His Details
Below For Immediate Directions.
Contact Mr. Samuel Pierce
Mobile Number: +234 708 820 0583.
Mr. Ben Donaldson
For Ebenezer Onyeagwu
CEO Zenith Bank.