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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "moneygram" (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. )
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- MoneyGram money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. Along with Western Union it is a preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- +447010045684 (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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "ATM VISA CARD PAYMENT CENTRE." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2010 23:02:30 +0530
Subject: IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$1,000,000.00 USD ONLY VIA ATM VISA CARD.
United Nation Organization
760 United Nations Plaza,
New York, NY 10017, USA.
RE: DOCKET NO. OP 292.
Our Ref: UN/BKL/STB
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$1,000,000.00 USD ONLY VIA ATM VISA CARD.
We wish to inform you that your payment of USD$1,000,000.00 Million from United Kingdom has been released and ready to be paid to your via ATM VISA CARD which you will use to withdraw the US$1,000,000.00 Million from any ATM Machine in any part of the world.
we have a meeting with the British Government of United Kingdom and FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C, we informed them that your fund should not cost you any thing because is your money (Your Card). Moreover, we have an agreement with them that you should pay only delivering of your card and insurance coverage fee which will cost you $550 Usd U.S. DOLLARS for the delivering of your ATM CARD/insurance coverage.
However, you have only three working days to send this $550 Usd U.S. DOLLARS To MR. TONY ELUMELU for the delivering of your card, if we dont hear from you with the payment information; the British Government will cancel the card.
We have mandated the Barclays Bank Plc, United Kingdom to issue an ATM VISA CARD and PIN# which you will use to withdraw the fund from any ATM machine in any part of the world but the maximum amount you can withdraw per day is US$20,000.00. You are strongly advice immediately to contact MR. TONY ELUMELU the Manager of Atm Visa Card Payment Claim Centre, Barclays Bank Plc United Kingdom Via his email address: ( email@example.com ) or call him on (+447010045684) and send him your information such as;
1) Your Full Name.
2) Your Contact Address.working one because is where the ATM card will go in.
3) Your Home Phone, Mobile/Cell Phone and fax Number.
4) Your Occupation.
5) Your Age & Sex.
Immediately contact MR. TONY ELUMELU via E-mail for instructions on how to send him the $550 Usd because the ATM VISA CARD approval in your name has been sent to MR. TONY ELUMELU and he is waiting for your above information include the evidence of western union or moneygram (payment slip) to enable the most complete and up-to date records possible so that he will process and send you the CARD and PIN number without any delay. So make sure you contact him right now with your information and tell him that you received a message from the UNITED NATION, Instructing you to contact him to pay only $550 Usd for immediate release of your fund via ATM VISA CARD.
Contact FBI via this email: firstname.lastname@example.org if after you pay this $550 Usd you did not receive your ATM VISA CARD after 72hours confirmation. You are warned to disregard other contact or any communication you have with other offices.
Moreover, this are people that received there payment through fedEx website (www.FEDEX.com).
RICHARD AUTRY ============== 869713119185
GARY METZGER ============== 871363130860
MARK STUBBS ==============871363116168
Contact me if there is any delay from the so called gentleman incharge.Note that, the delivering fee/insurance coverage is must and very important, so take note of that.any other contact or payment you make apart from the delivering fee/insurance coverage is at your own risk. After Tony Elumelu bring a report to us here that he have received the fee and your delivery will fasten under 24hours, latest 48 hours after confirmation. We will like your respond to this call to avoid any further delaying. Do not be afraid for the fee, when replying this mail, include your position and address so that we can register it here.
Your immediate response will be required.
Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka
Public Information Officer.