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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: Direct Office <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2011 01:41:36 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Your Payment File has been submitted to this Bank for immediate Payment
Your Payment File has been submitted to this Bank for immediate
Payment.Instruction was given and We were Directed by the Federal Government of
Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Finance and AUDITS and United Nations
(UN) and (IMF)to transfer fund of $10.5Million(TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOLLARS) through International ATM VISA Card and
deliver to you,which you can use in any near cash point,shopping mall or any
bank around you.
You can make withdrawal of money from your International ATM VISA Card from
any ATM MACHINE location or outlet of your choice/nearest to you, in any part of
the world.Be informed that the office of the presidency on your behalf has
secured the approval of your payment of usd$10.5Million(TEN MILLION FIVE Hundred
Thousand United State of America Dollars) and also your ATM Debit Card has been
upgraded and processed by Intercontinental Bank Plc.
we have down-load the $10.5Million into the ATM DEBIT CARD and in your name
,the password of the ATM VISA CARD will be forwarded to you by our Security Mail
Express to your door step Not by DHL OR any other Courier Services for security
You are advice to forward to this Bank your full contact address to enable
us ship your ATM CARD payment to you by a Diplomatic Courier Service which will
dispatch your ATM Card to you within 48hrs.forward to this Bank this required
Your Full names
Your physical contact,Home or Office address
Your Direct Telephone number and a copy of your
Thanks for your co-operation
Mr David Singer
Director ATM Swift Card &
Foreign Operation Payment Due Process Unit
Intercontinental Bank Plc
Direct Email: email@example.com
Telephone Line +234 802 762 12 37