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:
- "million us 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 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: "BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 00:37:10 -0400
Subject: SIX MILLIONS US DOLLARS
United Nations Scam victim compensation. With Due respect to the present recession in the economy, we are glad to inform you that your compensation payment verification is confirmed okay. Consequently, it is our pleasure to informed you that y
our ATM Card Number: 4929492817778003 has been approved and upgraded in your favor. Meanwhile, your secret pin number.......... The ATM Card Value is $6,000.000 USD Only, SIX MILLION US DOLLARS for part payment so Be aware that a maximum withdrawal value of US$5,000 is permitted daily or any amount you wish to withdraw according to mode of your payment by the ATM machine in your area. We have also concluded delivery arrangement with our accredited courier service company to be fully insured by Insurance Corporation to oversea the delivery of the ATM Card to you without any further delay.
Affirmatively, delivery will be made to your address within 72 hours on confirmation of you house address.
Be aware that the delivery fee receipt will be attached to your payment delivery document to avoid delay at the customs,IMF or any other office.
Please advise the preferred time of visitation to deliver so that we can inform the courier service company. Your valid I.D card must be presented to the dispatcher before release will be done to you to avoid wrong delivery. Resend your valid identification card and direct telephone number if possible.
Treat as very urgent, as we also remind you once again that your ATM Card is ready. An urgent response will be to your advantage.
ATM card director
Fidelity bank plc