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:
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: HONORABLE AMINU BASHIR WALI <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2016 09:53:12 +0100
Subject: DEAR BENEFICIARY YOUR ATM CARD HAS BEEN APPROVED
I AM HONORABLE AMINU BASHIR WALI,
CFR MINISTER OF FOREIGN =
HELLO DEAR BENEFICIARY
I am Honorable Aminu Bashir Wali, Minister Of Foreign Affairs. During the =
auditing of all financial records in my office, i was very annoyed when i f=
ound out that your payment has been approved already for months and you hav=
e not received your fund yet. I have been informed that you are still deali=
ng with none officials in the bank all your attempt to secure the release o=
f the fund to you. We advised that such an illegal act have to stop if you =
really wish to receive your payment.
We have decided to bring a solution to your problem, Right now, we have ar=
ranged your payment through ATM Card which is the latest instruction from M=
r. President, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) President Federal Republic of Nigeria=
and Federal Ministry of Finance. It is my pleasure to inform you that ATM =
Card Number; 7946 8678 0123 2210 has been approved and upgraded in your fav=
The ATM Card Value is $5,500,000.00 (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand US=
Dollars Only). You are advised that a maximum withdrawal limit of USD$15,0=
00.00 only is permitted daily. As the only cost you would be required to pa=
y is for insurance of $130 And you can make withdrawal in any location of t=
he ATM Center of your choice/nearest to you any where in your state/country.
You are advised to re-confirm your information to enable us process the ne=
cessary papers for immediate delivery of your ATM Card to your residential =
home address. (1) Full Name, (2) Home address where you want your ATM Card =
to be delivered,Reply to this email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org.=
Country AND City:::::::::::::::::::
Cell Phone Numbers:::::::::::::::
Age AND Sex::::::::::::::::
A Scan Copy of your Identity:::::::::::::
I WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
HONORABLEM AMINU ASHIR WALI, CFR
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS NIGERIA.