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:
- "cost of transfer" (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. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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)
- person: rev.james long* *private email address :( email@example.com )* *private direct tell + (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "CHRISTOPHER A. WRAY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2022 05:28:33 +0100
Subject: Re: URGENT MESSAGE FROM CHRISTOPHER A. WRAY
*FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC*
*J. Edgar Hoover Buildings*
*935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW*
*Washington, DC 20535-0001*
GOOD NEWS FOR YOU FROM THE FBI UNITED STATES. WE HAD A MEETING WITH
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA / BENIN
OVER YOUR LONG OVERDUE CONTRACT PAYMENT AND WE AGREED WITH THEM THAT
YOUR FUND SHOULD NOT COST YOU ANYTHING BECAUSE IS YOUR MONEY, WHICH WE
FINALLY REACHED AN AGREEMENT YESTERDAY THAT ALL THE PAYMENT WILL BE
PAID VIA ATM SMART CARD WHICH IS THE SIMPLEST WAY TO TRANSFER HUGE
AMOUNT OF MONEY TO AVOID COST OF TRANSFER AND OTHER STATUTORY
DOCUMENTS, WHICH WE STRETCHED TO HAVE A STRONG AGREEMENT OVER THE
PAYMENT THAT WILL COST YOU ONLY $ 95 USD FOR DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM SMART
CARD VIA UPS OR FED EX DELIVERY COMPANY DEPENDING ON YOUR CHOICE.
HOWEVER, YOU HAVE ONLY TWO WORKING DAYS TO SEND THIS REQUIRED DELIVERY
FEE OF $ 95USD TO FED EX OR UPS COURIER COMPANY FOR DELIVERING OF YOUR
CARD BECAUSE YOUR CARD WILL BE DISPATCH TO THEM IMMEDIATELY. AND IF WE
DON'T HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE PAYMENT INFORMATION; THE FEDERAL BUREAU
OF INVESTIGATION WILL NOT HESITATE BY GIVEN INSTRUCTION TO FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA AND THE INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT TO
CANCEL YOUR PAYMENT THAT HAS BEEN ALREADY APPROVED AND PROGRAMMED IN
AN ATM SMART CARD.
I WANT YOU TO READ BELOW CAREFULLY, THE NOTICE BELOW STAND AS CAUTION
BEFORE IT IS LATE. FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, YOU MUST BE CONSCIOUS OF
THIS PROJECT, AS I WILL SOON CONCLUDE THIS TRANSACTION WITH YOU, LET
THIS STAND AS A WARNING BEFORE YOU IN CASE YOU RECEIVED ANY E-MAILS
OR CALLS REGARDING TO THIS FROM ANY INDIVIDUAL, OFFICE, ORGANIZATION
AND BANKS CLAIMING TO BE ME.
BE INFORMED THAT YOU MAY ALSO RECEIVE SEVERAL E-MAILS AND TELEPHONE
CALLS FROM ANY ORGANIZATION, SUCH MUST BE FORWARDED TO US IMMEDIATELY
FOR VERIFICATION.IT <http://verification.it/> MIGHT COME TO YOU WITH
DIFFERENT PROPOSALS WITH
DIFFERENT NAMES INCLUDING MY NAME ASKING YOU TO COME AND PUT CLAIM ON
YOUR ESTATE OR EVEN FUNDS BELONGING TO YOU OR TO SOMEBODY YOU DO NOT
KNOW, I URGE YOU TO IGNORE SUCH E-MAILS OR CALLS, WHILE YOU FORWARD IT
TO US. I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ME
IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND CO-OPERATION. WHILE RESPONDING TO THE ATM
CARD PAYMENT OFFICER YOU MUST CONFIRM THIS CODE (18062111) FOR
HOWEVER, BE INFORMED THAT THE PART PAYMENT, WHICH IS 6,000,000.00
MILLION US DOLLARS HAS BEEN LOADED IN YOUR ATM SMART CARD AND YOUR
FUND WHICH IS IN TUNE OF 10,500,000.00 MILLION US DOLLARS WILL COME
IN BATCHES OF 6,000,000.00 MILLION US DOLLARS AND THIS IS THE FIRST
BATCH OF YOUR PART PAYMENT.YOUR PAYMENT WOULD BE SENT TO YOU VIA UPS
OR FEDEX, BECAUSE WE HAVE SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH THEM WHICH SHOULD
EXPIRED BY October 11th, 2022
HOWEVER, BE ADVISED BASED ON OUR RECOMMENDATION / INSTRUCTIONS THAT YOUR
COMPLETE CONTRACT / INHERITANCE OVER-DUE FUNDS WILL BE RELEASED
IMMEDIATELY UPON YOUR CONTACT TO THE NEWLY APPOINTED PAYMENT OFFICER
THAT WILL CARRY OUT THE DISPATCH OF YOUR ATM SMART CARD TO UPS COURIER
COMPANY WITH THE PAYMENT FOR DELIVERY OF YOUR PACKAGED. YOU ARE
THEREFORE ADVISED TO CONTACT REV.JAMES LONG IMMEDIATELY AS STATED
BELOW AS THE APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF ATM SMART CARD / FOREIGN OPERATION
DEPT AND ASK HIM ON HOW AND WHERE TO SEND THE PAYMENT OF $ 95.00 ONLY
TO FED EX OF UPS COURIER COMPANY.
*CONTACT PERSON: REV.JAMES LONG*
*PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS :( email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> )*
*PRIVATE DIRECT TELL + 234-9013132868*
YOU'RE ADVISED TO CONTACT HIM IMMEDIATELY SO AS TO ENABLE HIM
FACILITATE A SPEEDY PROCESSING AND RELEASE OF YOUR DELIVERY SINCE IS
THE ONLY $ 95.00 USD THAT IS KEEPING YOUR ATM SMART CARD. CONTACT HIM
WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS BELOW:
*1. YOUR FULL NAME ...........................*
*2. CONTACT ADDRESS ........................................*
*3. YOUR AGE ............................................*
*4. OCCUPATION ..........................................*
*5. PHONES AND FAX NUMBER ..................*
*6. COUNTRY ............................................... ............*
*7. YOUR ID .............................................. ......*
NOTE: YOU'RE ADVISED TO FURNISH YOUR INFORMATION TO INTERNATIONAL
REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR REV JAMES LONG WITH YOUR CORRECT AND
VALID DETAILS TO ENABLE HIM EXPEDITE SPEEDY ACTION ON THE PROCESSING
OF YOUR PAYMENT. WE EXPECT YOUR SWIFT RESPONSE TO THIS EMAIL TO ENABLE
US MONITOR THIS PAYMENT AND THE DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM SMART CARD
EFFECTIVELY THEREBY MAKING CONTACT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE
DEPARTMENT AS DIRECTED TO AVOID FURTHER DELAY.
YOU'RE ALSO EXPECTED TO FOLLOW HIS ADVICE AND DIRECTIVES TO AVOID
DELAY IN RELEASING YOUR PAYMENT BECAUSE YOUR PAYMENT FILE HAS ALREADY
BEEN MOVED TO IMF OFFICE FOR PROCESSING AND VERIFICATION.
*YOURS IN SERVICE,*
*CHRISTOPHER A. WRAY*
*FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION*
*UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE*
*WASHINGTON, DC 20535*