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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a 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.
- +447035922925 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Foreign Common Wealth Affairs" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 09:39:33 +0100
Subject: Your ref:...Date: 20/02/2012
TREASURY AND MINISTER FOR THE CIVIL SERVICE,
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.
Our ref: ATM/13470/IDR
Your ref:...Date: 20/02/2012
IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
I am Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service British Government. This letter is to officially inform you that (ATM Card Number 5454 7168 0041 0640) has been accredited in your favor. Your Personal Identification Number is 1090.The VISA Card Value is 2,000,000.00(Two Million Great British Pounds Sterling). This office will send to you a Visa Card/ATM CARD that you can use to withdraw your funds from any atm machine center or visa card outlet in any part of the world with a maximum of 5,000 GBP daily. Further more,You are required to re-confirm the following information to enable this office
begin processing of your ATM Card.
Rt Hon William Hague MP.
First Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Tel: ( +447035922925 )
NOTE: To avoid hitches in receiving your payment, you are advised to keep this confidential until you receive your award. Also be careful whom you communicate
with over the internet.
Rt Hon David Cameron MP