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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "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 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: "Steve John" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 19:36:05 +0200
Subject: Your payment via ATM CARD.
Be informed that we have finalized arrangements concerning your payment.
You can now make a withdrew of $15,000 as soon as the ATM Card delivered
to you by tomorrow.
However, it is the pleasure of this office to inform you that your Master
Card Number ; (6280512007610793364 ) has been approved and upgraded in
Meanwhile, your Secret Pin Number is 69/11. The ATM Card Value is US$15
Million United States Dollars only
Note that, a maximum withdrawal value of US$15,000.00 is permitted per day
we are duly inter-switched and you can make withdrawal in any location of
the Master Center of your choice/nearest to you. We have also concluded
delivery arrangements with our accredited courier service Company to be
fully insured and also oversee the delivery of the ATM Card to you without
any further delay as soon as you finalized with them.
In view of this development, you are requested to get back to us
(email@example.com) to enable us proceed .
I wait to hear from you as we give you the best of service.
Mr Steve John