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:
- "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: "UNITED NATIONS." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 13:11:45 -0200
Subject: Good Day,
UNITED NATION OFFICE
FOR THE COORDINATION
OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIR.
Our Ref: FGN/SNT/RAL
You have been awarded an ATM CARD containing $50,000,00 USD
(Fifty Thousand United State Dollars)We will send you an
International Swift ATM Card that has been approved in your favour
with Card Number: 4000 0012 3456 7899,with valued sum of $50,000,00 USD
(Fifty Thousand United State Dollars),which you are to use
in accessing your fund in any ATM Stand/location worldwide and remember that
the maximum withdrawal daily limit is Two Thousand Five Hundred United
($2,500 USD). Contact MR DANIEL WILLIAMS: Please do confirm that you will
take responsibility for the cost of delivery ($150),so that i will
know how to proceed with you. Please be informed that the delivery
will be made to your address in 24 hours (1 days) after our
confirmation of this payment for delivery, as you know that the delivery fee
receipt will be also attached on your payment delivery documents to avoid
your package being delayed by customs Treat urgently and note that your ATM
Card is ready and available for dispatch to you. contact:
(email@example.com) or call: +2347052-589-276 With this details,
MR DANIEL WILLIAMS
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE