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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Director Smith <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 05:31:01 -0800
Subject: Re: FUND TRANSFER NOTICE.
BARCLAYS INVESTMENT BANK PLC.
Southgate House, Osborne Estate,
Osborne Rd, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Tel: +234 802 681 2358
Tel: +234 818 110 5473
Ref: Remittance sum of Â£3,500,000.00 GBP.
APPROVED SUM OF Â£3,500,000.00 POUNDS.
After the indoor seminar with the IMF & Federal Executives Council, I
was assigned by The Nigerian Government to administer all awaiting
contract/Inheritance due payment. The International Monetary Fund
(IMF), Ministry of Finance and the World Bank has given Barclays Bank
a mandate to pay Â£3,500,000.00 Pounds to you through Bank to Bank wire
transfer. Kindly re-confirm your information to this bank, and we will
proceed on the releasing of your fund immediately into your bank
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Your Address:
(3) Your Age and Marital Status:
(5) Your Occupation:
(5) Your Telephone Number:
(6) Your Nationality:
(7) Your Bank Details:
As soon as we receive the above requested information, we will proceed
with the process of remitting your funds into your bank account. and a
copy will be given to you for you to take to your bank and confirm it.
Mr. Andrew Smith,
Barclays Investment Bank PLC.