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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- 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: "Mr.Jeffery Simpson" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 08:41:54 +0800
Subject: ATM PAYMENT CENTRE...
Dear Respectable One,
This is to officially informed you that the ATM Card numbered;5438400123456789 valued at $1.5 MILLION USD (One Million Five Hundred Thousand USD ) has been accredited in your favor.Your Personal Identification Number ATM-2900.The ATM Card has a daily withdrawal limit of US$5,000.00 (Five Thousand USD)only.This is the final notification and after a months' notice, your ATM Card will be sent to the national treasury. You are advice to contact the dispatch body of our affiliate courier company,for claim processing and verification with the below details:
* Full Name:
* Delivery Address:
* Phone Number:
Contact person: Mr Emmanuel Johnson
Contact Email: email@example.com
phone number: +234 709 048 6906
NOTE:The only fee you have to pay to the courier company is the delivery fee of $150.00USD,contact them as soon as possible to make arrangement on how to deliver your ATM CARD to you.
MR JEFFERY SIMPSON.