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.
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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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Mr.Williams Joseph" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 17:29:53 +0800
Subject: GOOD DAY DEAR FRIEND YOUR FUNDS OF $4.5 RELEASING OF ATM VISA CARD.
GOOD DAY DEAR FRIEND YOUR FUNDS OF $4.5 RELEASING OF ATM VISA CARD.
The United Nations in conjunction with the world bank has uploaded your
overdue payment of $4.5Million usd.in an Atm International Visa Card in
which you will be withdrawing the sum of $50,000.00 daily in any Atm
machine world wild.
We have registered your Atm Visa Card with DHL International delivery
company which is the best and easy way of delivery all over the world.
Contact the DHL manager Mr.Williams Joseph for the delivery of your Card.
Most important:reconfirm your current delivery address bellow for
Note:Please include your registration code bellow while contacting the DHL
Robert B. Johnson
President World Bank