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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: Peter Mark <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Peter Mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:51 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: I have left a certified ATM VISA CARD for you
Â I have left a certified ATM VISA CARD for you
Hello My Good Friend.
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family?, You may not understand
why this mail came to you.
Â But if you do not remember me, you did have received an email from me or my partner in
the past regarding to transfer a
Multi-Million-Dollar business proposal which we never concluded with you.
I am using this opportunity to inform you that the Multi-Million-Dollar business has
been concluded with the assistance
of another partner from Malaysia who financed the transaction a logical conclusion. I
thank you for your concern even
though it was unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reasons or the
But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of my bank
new partner's account in Malaysia that was capable of assisting me in this great
Due to your effort, sincerity,courage and trust worthiness You showed during the course
of the transaction.
I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $1,500,000.00.
I have left a certified ATM VISA CARD for you worth of $1,500,000.00 cash able anywhere
in the world.
My dear friend I will like you to contact my Account Officer MrÂ Peter Mark on
he direct email adhe dress at: (email@example.com)for the collection of
your ATM VISA CARD.
I authorized he to release the ATM VISA CARD to you whenever you contact he regarding
for it. At the moment,
I am very busy here because of the investment projects, which I and the new partner are
having at hands.
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the
bottomless of my whole heart,
Also comply withÂ Mr mark ben directives so that he will send the ATM VISA CARD to you
without any delay.
CONTACT: Mr Peter Mark
Cotonou, Republic of Benin
Email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Therefore, you should send this
1.Your Full Name: ....................
5.Your Mobile Phone Number:.....................
7.your address: .................
Â Â Â
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Hoping to hear from you.
Mr Peter Mark