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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Rosland Thomas" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 06:16:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: CONTACT ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed at the course of your transaction with some government and claimed government officials. And based on the outcome of the last meeting held with the Federal Government of this country and the officials of the United Nation Organization, UNO and International Monitoring Fund, IMF, we have been instructed to transfer your funds through ATM MASTER CARD, This is to officially inform you that (ATM Master Card Number 4000101025717299) has been accredited in your favour. Your Personal Identification Number is 1309. The ATM Card Value is $2.8M (Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand United State Dollars).
You are advice to contact our affiliate ATM UNIT CENTER with the information below.The maximum you can withdraw in a day is $6000.00 (Six Thousand United State Dollars) you are therefore advice to contact the ATM CARD UNIT CENTRE DEPARTMENT. Bellow is the contact detail for you to contact ATM UNIT CENTRE for your ATM MASTER CARD.
Contact Person: Dr.George Ngueye.
Telephone:+229 9893 9789.
Here is the information they may need to send the ATM CARD to you.
Forward the needed information to the ATM UNIT CENTER so that they will send your your ATM CARD.