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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "FEDEX@FEDEX.COM" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 04:27:00 +0100
Subject: ATTN DEAR CUSTOMER, I HAVE ARRIVED YOUR AIRPORT FOR YOUR ATM CARD DELIVERY.
Attn Dear Customer.
This is Agent Mr. David Signature responsible
for the delivery of your ATM Card worth $1,800,000.00 to your address from fedex courier company Benin Republic,
I am currently stranded with your ATM Card at Douglas/Charlotte International
Airport North Carolina USA. On my arrival to North Carolina (USA) i noticed the address i have for your ATM Card delivery is wrong and we noticed the fault is from Benin Minister of finance agent who registered your ATM Card with us.
According to Benin Minister of Finance agent that registered your ATm Card she said your fund were recovered from scam artist
During their course of investigation
eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Africa with the help of
the Organization of African Unity (OAU) United Nations (UN), European
Union (EU) and FBI.
they were able to track down some scam artist in various parts of
African countries which includes (Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana
and Senegal) and they are all in Government custody now as she said and they will
appear at International Criminal Court (ICC) soon for Justice.
During the course of their investigation, they were able to recovered some
funds from these scam artists, IMF organization have ordered the
recovered funds to be shared among the 150 Lucky people listed around
the World as a compensation fund. This notice is been directed to you
because your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file
on his computer hard-disk while the investigation was going on, maybe you have been
scammed and You are therefore being compensated with sum of $1.200.000.00 (One million two Hundred Thousand US Dollars.
And Since your email address is among the lucky beneficiaries who will
receive a compensation funds they arranged your compensation payment to be paid
to you through ATM VISA CARD and deliver to your address with
the Pin Numbers as to enable you withdrawal maximum of $5000 on each
withdrawal from any Bank ATM Machine of your choice, until all the
funds are exhausted. i also have with me here the legal documents backing up the fund and Im instructed to follow you to your bank for confirmation of the fund inside your ATM Card before i exit if you say so.
so kindly reconfirm to me your delivery information now to enable me proceed to your address from here for your ATM Card delivery.
1. Your Full Name:
3. Cell/Mobile Number:
Thanks for your understanding in as I await your urgent response. You
can also call me as soon as you read my email now.
Always At Your Service,
Agent David Signature
Fedex Benin Rep Diplomatic Agent