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:
- 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:
- "anti-terrorist certificate" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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: Mrs Adewonmi Adewonmi <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2022 13:31:41 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE!!!
ATTENTION: URGENT RESPOND IS HIGHLY NEEDED
We are writing you regarding the transfer of your compensations funds
which ought to commence immediately haven received your details needed
for the transfer. Haven done all the proper verification exercise from
all our department, we found you worthy of the cash compensations in
the GUARANTEE TRUST BANK PLC.(GTB)/UNITED NATIONS 2021 COMPENSATIONS
PAYMENTS program organized by UNITED NATIONS/NIGERIA GOVERNMENT aimed
at redeeming the country's image and also to try to put an end to the
incessant scams reports by foreigners especially from US. However,
after this compensations is paid, the country will decline any other
report from you should you fall into the hands of this perpetrators
again. Meanwhile, as for now everything seem to be working in your fav
our, all that we require from you now, is your maximum cooperation for
smooth transfer of your money through our paying bank to you.
We are writing to inform you that we have finalized the release and
transfer of your compensations of $100,000.00 (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND
DOLLARS), to your account but we wish to let you know of the final
stage requirements as stated below:
1. A completed transfer slip (Fill the required info and leave others
for official use).
2. An Authorizing letter of application requesting the transfer of
your due funds as your COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS to the provided account
information provided (write as email). This letter by applicant is for
official documentation purpose.
3. A scanned receipt of the sum of $105 USD (EIGHT FIVE DOLLARS) which
stands for the TRANSFER CHARGES for the transfer of $100,000.00 and
the processing of other required documents to back the said amount
like CERTIFICATE OF CLEAR SOURCE OF FUND, UN ANTI-TERRORIST
CERTIFICATE, CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT, etc. made payable directly to the
Accountant/Processing Officer to the UN monitoring committee,NDIVE
DEBORAH CHIAMAKA here in Nigeria through Ria Money Transfer. OR World
Remit or iTunes card or Steam wallet gift card or Ebay gift card and
details of the payment receipt clearly listed in the order of payment
as listed below:
Surname (Last Name):..............
Test Question(If any):..............
Name:MRS NDIVE DEBORAH CHIAMAKA
Number: +234 70 39 40 50 34
Preferably, you can send the scanned copy of the receipt. Ensure you
keep safe the receipt for documentation purpose and when demanded by
the monitoring committee during cross-checking.
Note that your funds is protected by a hardcover insurance policy
closely monitored by the UN monitoring committee, which makes it
impossible for us to deduct any amount from your compensations funds
before it is remitted to you. This means that the above charges cannot
be deducted from the compensations and hence must be provided by you
before your transfer can be effected. Please respond to this email by
making available the charge above. As soon as the above requirements
are met and payments for COT (Cost Of Transfer) is paid, and the
details of the payment received, your funds will reach you accordingly
within 48 hours.
Find below the attached copies of the Documents already processed.With
these documents you can be rest assured that the transaction is
approved and legitimate.
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE!!!
Hoping to hear from you soonest
Mrs Adewonmi Adewonmi.
GTB BANK/UNITED NATIONS 2022 COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS DEPT.
NOTE: The Nigerian Government will decline any other complains of scam
should you fall victim again after this compensations is paid and
transferred to you. So be warned!!!