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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Professor Bolaji Owasanoye" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2022 17:55:14 +0100
FUND RELEASE NOTIFICATION
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission
United Nations Approved Anti-fraud Unit
Code of Conduct Bureau against fraud, funds delay and impersonation
Head Office: Plot 802,Constitution Avenue
Zone A9 Central Area P. M.B 535, Garki Abuja
Email : email@example.com
APPROVED SETTLEMENT NOTICE.
This letter will definitely be amazing to you because of its realistic value.
Sorry for the inconveniences that was rendered to you in line with
the release of your due Payment which was delayed because you were in
contact with the wrong officials.
As the new Chairman of this Anti-fraud Unit, I will like to introduce
myself; I am (Mr. Bolaji Owasanoye) a Nigerian born British citizen
appointed by The Federal Government of Nigeria and The United Nations
Organization (U.N.O) in other to avert corruption, fraud, funds delay
and impersonation. To this bestowed Authority I took an oath of
allegiance to settle all fraud victims peacefully.
This particular Commission was initiated to detect
corruption/fraud/funds delay/impersonation of Government Officials.
Secondly, we are subordinate mandated by The United Nations
Organization (U.N.O) and the US Government to Settle foreign
debts/fraud victims/UN-paid beneficiaries and contractors to
satisfactory in other to maintain peace in the world at large and also
to rekindle our country's reputation as the giant of Africa.
Presently, we are being paid by the American government in other to
avert internet fraud, corruption, funds delays and impersonation here
You are being contacted by this office today, because your Case File
(A) is the very first File on our Settlement Files Cabinet and we are
ready to Pay you at this moment. From our intelligent investigations
made secretly, we discovered that you are a victim of fraud/funds
This Memorandum is to notify you that you will be settled by the
Nigerian Government/ICPC-Nigeria from the Sovereign Wealth Funds. You
will be settled with the actual amount which you lost in your previous
transaction, including the actual Funds which you are supposed to
receive as a beneficiary.
Your settlement will be actualized within 3 working days after your
response to this Official Letter.
For further clarification/investigation kindly send the below
information’s to us
1. Your Full Names.....
2. Your residential address.
3. Mobile and fax number (for regular official contact).....
4. Your inheritance funds value.....
5. Amount, which you have lost previously....
6. Scan copy of your International Passport/Drivers License...
This above-mentioned information will officially enable us to carry
out our verification processes and after that your settlement Funds
US$10.5Million will be paid to you accordingly.
Professor Bolaji Olufunmileyi Owasanoye
(Independent Corrupt Practices Commission)
Chairman ICPC Nigeria.
Cc:Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Bureau of Investigation Law enforcement agency
International Monetary Fund
Accountant General of the Federation.
Federal Ministry of Finance (F.M.F).