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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum 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 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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: ADB <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2022 12:05:01 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK GROUP
From the Desk of Mr.Akinwumi Adesina
African Development Bank Group. Nigeria.
I am Akinwumi Adesina, the President, African Development Bank. This
is to bring to your notice that my office has taking over all the
money transactions originated from any part of Africa and Europe
countries as contract payment, Fund Inheritance or Lottery Winning due
to Unauthorized/incapability of financial Institutions/security
companies in releasing such huge sum of money due to Fraud, terrorist
and money Laundry activities going on world wide.
The World Bank Group has Mandated the African Development Bank (ADB)
via my Office to release funds to beneficiaries through a means
preferable by them,Hence Your E-mail/Name appears as one of The fund
beneficiaries whom their fund was successfully cleared for
payment.Your money will be released to you through a means preferable
by you either by.
(1) Bank to Bank Wire transfer
(2) International Certified Bank Draft
(3) Payment through Delivery of ATM MASTER AND VISA CARD,
to avoid paying excess charges. You are therefore advised to
re-confirm your direct telephone numbers, Your complete name and your
address to us for immediate release of this money, Most importantly be
aware that (Five Million United States Dollars Only (US$5, 000,
000.00) was allocated to you as the approved amount due to you. Be
also informed that all the documents regarding this approval and
authorization has been issued. Therefore be aware that your funds has
obtained all her clearance to be released to you.
President of African Development Bank