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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 19:08:37 +0530 (IST)
Subject: Payment No: S60821
Payment No: S60821
I am directed to inform you that ATM Card Number: 6038050011004432 has
been approved in your favor. The ATM Card Value is $958,010.00 USD (Nine
Hundred and Fifty-eight Thousand,Ten USD Only). You are advised that a
maximum withdrawal value of $5,000.00 USD is permitted on withdrawal per
day and are Inter Switch & visa cards ,so you can make withdrawal in any
ATM Center of your choice worldwide.
Treat urgently and note that your ATM Card is ready and available for
dispatch to you, .Reconfirm your delivery address & phone number to avoids
mistakes,Understand dispatch charges are to be taken care by you as the
beneificary to this funds,
All corresponding must be sent to this email: email@example.com
Martins Liu Chen
International Remittance Department