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:
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
- 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 (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "information" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 08:46:11 -0400
Subject: Unpaid-Beneficiary Through ATM CARD!!!
It is obvious that you have not received your fund due to lack of payment for
the bank, cost of transfer or the documents, and also due to past corrupt
Nigeria Governmental Officials and with the foreign Banks, who almost held
the fund to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who have
taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has
led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of
The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations have
successfully passed a mandate to the current president of Nigeria his
Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan to boost the exercise of clearing all
foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have
been found not to have receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling,
Inheritance and the likes.
Now your payment will be send to you by ATM card that will be coming
alongside a custom pin which you will use to withdraw up to $10,000 per day
from any ATM machine that has the Master Card Logo on it. Also with the ATM
card you will be able to transfer your funds to your bank account. The ATM
card comes with a handbook or manual to enlighten you about how to use it.
Your ATM CARD payment would be sent to you via UPS or FedEx. Because we have
signed a contract with them which should expired in one Month time.
Below are few list of tracking numbers you can track from UPS and Fedex
website to confirm people like you who have received their payment
Tracking Number: H7909125721
Tracking Name: E MNAICKER
Click on the Link Below and Put the Tracking number Above;
To effect the release of your Compensation fund valued at $1.8million through
ATM CARD, you are advised to contact the director of payment and delivery
Name: Mr. Kenneth Adoga
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +234-807-140-3362
On contacting him do provide him with the following information’s:
Your Full Name:
Mrs. Tina Ibru
Nigerian Payment Representative Officer.
CC: National Central Bureau of Interpol