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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- +447024058524 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "IKOBO VISA/CARD COMPANY" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 09:02:53 +0900
Subject: OUTSTANDING PAYMENT NOTIFICATION!
Our Ref: IKG/NG/ICO
This is to officially inform you that during our routine check on ATM VISA
card transfer and accreditation by IMF (International Monetary Funds), we
found out that the ATM visa card that was accredited and sent in your favor
by IMF was never delivered to you, because some idiot elements stood on your
way of receiving it. We have been able to rescue it from them, so we can
resend it to you immediately. The Visa Card Value with $1.Million. You are
advice to contact our Affiliate courier company,This funds would be made
available to you through your iKobo Visa card. This is IMF (International
Monetary Funds) foundation set up to better the lot of email holders. Is a
promo based on electronic mails which are selected at random through a
computer program. Your email id attached to ticket no 88 emerged as one of
the 10 lucky winners of ikobo visa card.
Contact:Mr John Fred,
We have concluded plans to deliver this card to you as soon as possible.
You are to send us the following details:
I hope you understand the content of these email,We look forward to hearing
from you soon.
Interpol Monitoring Team
Director Of Foreign Operations