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:
- ",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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- "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: "Mrs. Treasure Collins (Hon.)" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 05:52:50 -0500
Subject: Atm Payment Center
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your
contract/Inheritance/lottery file Presently on my desk, and I found out that you
have not received your payment Due to your lack of co-operation and not
fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your payment.
Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with non-officials in the Bank
and Attorney as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you So wish to
receive your payment immediately.
After the Board of director's meeting held in Abuja, we have resolved in
finding a solution to your problem. We have arranged your payment through our
SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America, Africa and Asia Pacific; this is
part of an instruction/mandate passed by the Senate in respect to overseas
contract/inheritance/lottery payment and debt re-scheduling.
In line with this directive, it become paramount to inform you that
the details contained in your contract file which was forwarded to my
Desk from the President Of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria Dr Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan and the Federal Ministry of Finance shows that you are among
"Category "A" which clarifies that your Funds What the Sum of $5,000,000.00
has been verified and long over-due.
We will send you an 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 twenty five
thousand United States dollars ($25,000.00).
If you like to receive your fund this way, kindly reconfirm your
(1) Your Full Name
(2) Full residential address
(3) Phone And Fax Number
(5) Personal Identification.Drivers license or International Passport.
(8) Marital Status.
send to this email address: email@example.com
We shall be expecting to receive your information as you have to stop any
further communication with anybody or office.
I repeat again here that you are receiving this money due to the fact that we
have verified your file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not
received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the
obligations giving to you in respect to your payment, remember this is not
credit card which you will pay back later, you don't have to pay back we
have already loaded your fund in to the ATM CARD.
As soon as you receive this message for further update.
Mrs. Treasure Collins (Hon.)
Secretary to the Presidency
ATM ENABLES YOU TO MAKE WITHDRAWALS WORLD WIDE. MAKE A WISE CHOICE OF
TRANSFER, POTABLE AND ECONOMICAL.