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)
- "courier service" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: " ATM Payment/Processing Dept" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 22:45:54 -1200
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam,-
ATM Payment/Processing Dept
Barclays Bank Plc
This is a reminder message regarding your ATM master card for your compensation fund in the sum of ?1.500, 000.00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling only) approved by the HM Treasury and the International Monetary Fund. The ATM Payment/Processing Dept Department of Barclays Bank, London has been mandated by the HM Treasury and International Monetary Fund to handle the payment of your compensation fund of the above amount by ATM card. Your email contact is among the listed beneficiaries in the data for the sum of ?1.500, 000.00, and I have been assigned by the management of the Barclays Bank to carry out delivery of the ATM card package to you.
This compensation is in compliance with IMF and World Bank directives to pacify victims of internet scam. On this note, I am pleased to inform you that ATM card Number 4659 0022 3456 8799 for the sum of ?1.500, 000.00 has been credited in your favor and ready for immediate delivery to you. You are hereby required to confirm your telephone number and present address where you want the ATM card to be delivered to you. Upon receipt of the above requirements from you, I shall have your ATM card dispatched to you by one of our accredited courier service who will deliver it to your designated home address. With the ATM card, you can make withdrawals of $10,000 per day from any of the ATM machine in the whole world. The pin and all necessary user guides will be included inside the same parcel that contained your ATM card which will be delivered to you by the courier service, for your easy use.
You are therefore required to furnish us with the below details:
Director, ATM Payment/Processing Dept
Barclays Bank Plc