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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "headquater" (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 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- (west africa nigeria) official contact emails:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org contact him now and tell him (Accountant; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "United Nations" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 01:54:57 -0700
Subject: Detail Information.
United Nations Headquarters,
New York, NY 10017, USA.
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT ORDER VIA ATM CARD
We have actually been authorized by the newly appointed United Nation
secretary general, and the governing body of the UNITED NATIONS Monetary
Unit, to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment, recommended and
approved in your favor. During the course of our investigation, we
discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily Delayed by
corrupt officials of the Bank who are Trying to divert your funds into
their private accounts.
To forestall this, security for your funds was organized in the form of
your personal Identification number (PIN) ATM CARD and this will enable
only you to have direct Control over your funds in the ATM CARD. We will
monitor this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by
the Officials of the bank.
An irrevocable payment guarantee has been issued by the World Bank Group
and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on your Payment. However, we are
happy to inform you that based on our recommendation/Instructions; your
complete unpaid Winning funds have been credited in your favor through ATM VISA
You are therefore advised to contact our subsidiary authorized paying agent in
(WEST AFRICA NIGERIA)with details below:
HALOGEN SECURITY COMPANY.
Mr. Lancelot Tracia Anderson
Director ATM Payment Department
(West Africa Nigeria)
Official Contact Emails:firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact him now and tell him to advise you on how to receive your ATM CARD.
As soon as you establish contact with him, an ATM card will be processed and issued
in your name which will be sent to your home address in your country
immediately which you can use to withdraw your funds in any Bank ATM
Machine in your Country, but the maximum is 5000 GBP per day.
When contacting him, contact him with your data as stated below:
1. Your Full Name:
2. Address Where You Want the Courier Company to Send Your ATM Card
3. Your Age:
5. Telephone Numbers:
NOTE: You are advised to furnish Mr. Lancelot Anderson, with your correct and
valid details. Also be informed that your ATM CARD is valued 950,000,00 GBP.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRO.
UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION.