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:
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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.
- +447012949815 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Robert Lee" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2013 04:59:10 +1000
Subject: CONTACT MR GREG ADAMS IMMEDIATELY
#196 Oxford Street Marylebone,
London United Kingdom
In respect of your long over-due fund which you have been finding it difficult to receive through a Bank Draft, Bank to Bank Wire Transfer and Installment Payment arrangements. A meeting was held last weekend at our Office as to the problem surrounding the Remittance of your fund, and after all deliberation, the Panel Agreement was to load your fund into a worldwide accessible ATM Visa Card.
We have waited for you to get in contact with us for your ATM Visa Card worth the total sum of $1,500.000.00. (One Million, Five hundred Thousand United State Dollars), Which you can withdraw your Fund at any ATM Machine in your location Worldwide, with maximum daily limit amount of USD$15,000.00 (Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars) Hence you are willing to claim your Winning Fund.
Note that the delivery charges of your ATM VISA CARD has already being paid, Apart from the Security Keeping Fee and insurance clearance, which is to be paid due to your delay in contacting this office for claim of your ATM VISA CARD Winning Fund.
The Security Keeping Fee, together with the Insurance clearance Fee total amount is US$250 and this is the only charges you are Authorized to Pay as there is no Hidden charges require for any reason, to have your ATM VISA CARD completely insured and delivered to your residential address for daily withdrawal. All you need to do is to contact our payment Security Department in United State for details and guidelines on how to submit your Fees so as to facilitate the immediate release of your ATM VISA CARD for immediate delivery to you.
Contact person is Mr, Ivan Smith, directly for Guidelines on how to Submit your Security Keeping Fees of $250 and commence Delivery of your ATM VISA CARD Winning Fund.
Name: Mr, Greg Adams
Kindly re-confirm your details to him for verification, and make sure your residential address is provided correctly, to avoid any atom of mistake during delivery process of your ATM VISA CARD, so as to facilitate the immediate release of your ATM CARD immediately as soon as you comply with the requirement.
(1) Your Full Name ..................
(2) Full Residential Address.............(P.O.BOX NOT ALLOWED)
(3) Direct and Current Phone ...........
(4) Nationality ..........................
(5) Present Country ................
As soon as your details are submitted, you shall be advised accordingly by our security department officer Mr, Greg Adams. Our ATM CODE of conduct is ( ATM 101 ). Make sure you specify this Code on your subject when Contacting our Security Department (Mr,Greg Adams) for delivery of your ATM VISA CARD.
Your Safety is 100% Guaranteed.
Thanks for your maximum co-operation.
Mr Robert Lee
ATM PAYMENT DIRECTOR