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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- me on my phone +234-90-9223-2770 or email email@example.com for directives on how you can get the deduction done as soon (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "ATTORNEY GENERAL" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 04:23:56 -0700
Subject: Dear Fund Beneficiary, Urgent response Required for your own good
Supreme Court of Nigeria
P.M.B. 308. Garki Abuja
Dear, Fund Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that in the course of my investigation as director of payment verification / implementation committee I came across your name as unpaid fund beneficiary in the record of the central bank of Nigeria and other banks that are supposed to get your funds amounting on the sum of $6,700,000.00 (Six million seven hundred thousand united states dollars) released to you. My committee was set up by the payment reconciliation committee to verify and scrutinize all outstanding debts owed to our foreign beneficiaries in accordance with the information received from the United States government and other countries over unpaid huge debts owed to Foreigners.
Having seen your file and my further questioning to the officials of the central bank of Nigeria and ministry of finance as to why your payment is still pending reveals the rot and corruption in the system. The bank officials told me that the reason why you havent received your payment is due to your inability to pay for the required charges for transfer of funds to your account. When I asked them why they didnt deduct the said charges from your principal sum, I was given the flimsy excuse that you never authorized them to do so. When I put the question across to them if they ever advised you that such charges could be deducted from your principal fund, the answer I got was no. Now, if you do not tell this beneficiary that such charges could be deducted from his or her principal fund, how will he or she know that such options are available for such beneficiaries?
From my investigation I discovered that these bank officials deliberately refused to let the charges be deducted from your principal fund because they want your fund to remain trapped in the bank, while they continue to extort money from beneficiaries under some flimsy excuse. You do not need to pay any money to any official, all you are required to do is swear an affidavit at the federal high court of Nigeria, authorizing the bank to deduct all charges from your principal fund and transfer the balance of funds after deduction to your bank account. If you have spent any money in the past in your quest for payment, kindly let me know so that I can follow this up. You can reach me on my phone +234-90-9223-2770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for directives on how you can get the deduction done as soon as possible and get your payment released in your account.
Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad (CON)
ATTORNEY GENERAL FEDERAL
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Alternative Email: email@example.com