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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- briggs. direct mobile: 234-8090-718221. email: email@example.com finally i will advise you call johnson briggs on his phone (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM THE NIGERIA OFFSHORE PAYMENT CENTER IN VIRGINIA,USA." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:20:25 -0800
Subject: MAILING OF YOUR ATM CARD FROM VIRGINIA HERE IN THE UNITED STATES.
Nigeria Offshore Payment Center,Virginia,United States.
Contact Person: Dr,Smith Anderson.
Executive Director Nigeria Offshore ATM Card Payment Center United States Of America.
11325 Random Hills Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030, United States.
Attn: ATM Card Beneficiary.
I wish to inform you that as the Executive Director of Nigeria ATM Card Offshore Payment Center here in Virginia,United States i have today taken delivery of your parcel (ATM Master/Visa Card) uploaded with the sum of US$5Million only (Five Million Dollars) that was sent to my office by the Nigerian Government through the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC,United States for onward delivery to you the beneficiary of the ATM Card home or office address here in the United States or outside the United States in your Country which you have to reconfirm to me with immediate effect your receiving address for you onward shipment from Virginia here through my office,meanwhile you are as a matter of urgency required to contact Mr.Johnson Briggs in Nigeria for him to release and issue to you a Special Copy of your ATM Master Card Payment Bond Release Code (AMCPBRC) and the cost for the AMCPBRC which you will send to Mr.Johnson Briggs in Nigeria is only the sum of US$280 (Two Hundred And Eighty Dollars),i told you the ac
Sequel to the above development now this is your ATM Card 16 digits Serial numbers: 13 65 76 00 07 48 39 94,your four Digits Personal Identifications Numbers (PIN CODE) is sealed and attached in your parcel which you alone will open it and use it to commence withdrawals once you have received your parcel from Virginia here through my office once you have contacted me with your full names and your mailing address in your Country for your shipment without further delays from my office as i have a delivery arrangement with a reputable courier company here in Virginia for your shipment of which the shipment fees has been made already by me, as i said earlier this direct delivery will not cost you a dime once you have obtain the mandatory AMCPBRC CLEARANCE from, Johnson Briggs in Nigeria by you sending to him the US$280 cost as i have paid your shipment cost already,all i need from you is your address in your Country and then you ask Johnson Briggs to forward the AMCPBRC to me once you have send to him the above
DIRECT MOBILE: 234-8090-718221.
Finally i will advise you call Johnson Briggs on his phone as soon as you receive this email and ask him how you will send the US$280 to him so that he will expedite actions by urgently issuing your AMCPBRC CLEARANCE to you because without it i cannot make your delivery and to enable me make your delivery as quickly as possible unless you think otherwise,forward all mailing address to my direct email id as thus: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can call me on my direct line here in the United States as thus:1-757-809-7419 for more clarifications on your parcel delivery from Virginia here.
Executive Director Nigeria Offshore ATM Card Payment Center,
Virginia, United States Of America.