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:
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- 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: Mrs Faith Boni <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:56:25 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Urgent Attention Is Needed
Youâre expected to call us +22968037105. We know is very difficult for you
to understand because it has being long time you are waiting for your ATM
Master Card but right now things are really worked out to your expectation.
You have to understand that your file has gotten to office of ATM Swift
Card and already finalized all the necessary arrangement, beside most
original Card presently is ATM MASTER CARD and is being sent from Africa is
visa card is 55%.
Office of ATM Swift Card department wants you to understand that everything
is in order (ECO-WAS HIGH COURT WEST AFRICA) Decided to pay you via ATM
MASTER CARD which worth sum of $2.5 USD
For activation of your Card pin number and also cover the insurance
coverage to enable you have access of withdraw once you receive your ATM
Master Card include your ID Card
Include you information
Youâre home address
Youâre Tel phone number
Thanks for your co-operation:
FROM MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Office email (email@example.com)
Best regards Faith Boni