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:
- ",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)
- "mariam abacha" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: Dr Mrs Mariam Abacha <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2023 16:12:33 +0100
Subject: +2347025849773 Dr Mrs Mariam Abacha
how are you
i want you to contact bank for your payment ,your atm card is ready
due to i have not heard from you all this while , one of your
contraite friend wrote me that you are dead i dont know how he knows
about this transaction . your 9,500,000 has been load into your atm
card by the manager of emlard bank mr emmanuel
obi .you have to send me your account details, house address, direct
telephone number,state of origin , for the process of the atm card ,
you can make a witdral of 20,000 every day this is the pin number
given to me by the bank to give you 7089 , activation code number 6990
here is the scan copy of the atm,card
Dr Mrs Mariam Abacha