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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- ",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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "FEDEX NEW YORK, USA." <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 13:30:37 -0500
Subject: RECEIVE YOUR INHERITANCE MONEY/ ATM CARD FROM FEDEX USA.
FedEx New York Office, USA.
NY 47th and 3rd 747 3rd Ave.
Delivery fund ATM payment department.
Contact E-mail >>> firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact E-mail >>> email@example.com
THIS IS JUAN CENTO
FedEX NEW YORK OFFICER.
TODAY I AM CONTACTING
YOU REGARDING YOUR ATM CARD WHICH HAS BEEN PENDING IN OUR
OFFICE FOR A LONG TIME AGO, AND THE CARD WAS RECEIVED FROM
OCEANIC BANK LONDON TO DELIVER IT TO YOU. ACCORDING TO THE
BANK THEY STATED THAT THE ATM CARD WAS LOADED WITH $15,000,000
.00 UNITED STATE DOLLARS FOR YOUR INHERITANCE CONTRACT MONEY
BUT WE COULDN'T MAKE THE DELIVERY NOW DUE TO TOO MUCH
PACKAGES IN OUR OFFICE AND TO AVOID MISPLACING OF YOUR
PACKAGE, YOU ARE ADVISED TO ISSUE US YOUR RECEIVER INFORMATION
BELOW FOR CONFIRMATION AND RECORDING PURPOSE THEN WE DELIVER
YOUR INHERITANCE FUNDED ATM CARD TO YOU.
NOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO AS URGENT FOR THE IMMEDIATE
DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM CARD IS TO FILL THIS FORM BELOW AND
FORWARD IT TO US AS URGENT.
KINDLY ISSUE TO US YOUR FULL NAME :..........
YOUR HOUSE ADDRESS :...............
YOUR PHONE NUMBER :......
NEAREST AIR-PORT IN YOUR CITY : ........
ARE ADVICE TO FILL THIS FORM ABOVE AND FORWARD IT
IMMEDIATELY SO THAT WE CAN PROCEED WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY.
ALSO FOR YOUR INFORMATION, YOU HAVE TO STOP ANY FURTHER
COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(S) TO AVOID ANY
HITCHES IN RECEIVING YOUR FUND ATM PAYMENT..
REGARDS JUAN CENTO
FedEX NEW YORK OFFICER.