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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Peter Okay" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr.Peter Okay" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:51:42 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Ref: Attention: Dear Customer.
Â Ref: Attention: Dear Customer.
How are you? hope all is well with you and your family.I know that youÂ might have forgotten about this your outstanding fund due to our mistaketo delay the delivery up till now.I am writing to inform you that yourÂ file was found in our office today and we discovered that your cheque of$4.5 Million united state dollars have not been sent to you as it wasÂ instructed by our late boss Mrs. Victoria Crawford.
We are very sorry for the mistake and the delay, please bear with usÂ because the fault is from our former secretary who did not complete theÂ instruction giving by our Boss.My dear, Note that your cheque has beenÂ convert into Master ATM Card to free it from Expiring. This is to tellÂ you that the arrangement to deliver to you the $4.5 Million in ATM CARDÂ is concluded today.
Now Your ATM CARD is wellpackaged with every legal documents to cover it form not having anyproblem with any Office Authority or with yourFederal Government and we have deposit your ATM Card with the conclusion toÂ deliver it to your home as soon as you contact them with you currentÂ information.
1. Your Full name,________________2. Your home Address,______________3. Your current telephone number,______4. A copy of your picture,_____________5. Your age/sex,____________________6. Your country,____________________7. Your occupation,__________________
contact the ATM Center Director on this belowE-mail.(firstname.lastname@example.org)Contact Person; Rev Mike JamesTele Phone Number; +229 98372730 Please try to call him immediately toÂ know when Your ATM CARD could be deliver to you.I wait for your updateÂ as soon as you have receive your ATM CARD Package.
Thanks and God Bless You.Yours sincerelyMr.Peter Okay