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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Megamail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Treasure Collins" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 13:59:45 +0100
Subject: NOTIFICATION OF PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD
SUBJECT ; NOTIFICATION OF PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD
Please contact Dr. Mansur Muhtar immediately for your ATM Card payment that will be sent to you through the FedEx representative here.His name and contact is as follows:
NAME ; Dr. Mansur Muhtar
He will send you your ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world,and the maximum daily limit is Fifteen Thousand United States dollars($15,000.00). And also the Government/Presidency has taken care of the shipping fee of your ATM card,So if Mr Edward the FedEx representative is requesting for another shipping fee, You will have to report him to me immediately.
When you receive your ATM card, you have to alert me so that we can give you process of how to activate and make use of your ATM CARD.If you like to receive your fund this way,Kindly contact him with the following informations below, Send it to his email address firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Your Full Name
(2) Full residential address
(3) Phone And Fax Number
(6) Marital StatusThis message is supported by the Federal Government, After you might have started making use of your ATM card, you can reward my firm one way or the other you knows best.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Dr. Mansur Muhtar ( Secretary Mrs Treasure Collins )
Director (CBN, IRD, and ATM)