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:
- "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)
- "courier service" (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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr.Alfred Freeman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 07:34:03 +0300
Subject: Attn Pls
IRREVOCABLE COMPENSATION PAYMENT OF US$10.500,000.00 VIA ATM VISA CARD
We have actually been authorized by the newly appointed Minister of finance and the governing body of the United Nations Monetary Unit to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment, recommended and approved in your favor. During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank in attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your payment.
The United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has chosen to pay out all the compensation funds to 150 Beneficiaries from USA, Europe, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South America, Australia and Asia and Africa Continent through ATM Visa Card as this is a global payments technology that enables consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments to use digital currency instead of Cash and Cheques.
We have arranged your payment to be paid to you through ATM Visa Card and this will be issued on your Name and shall be posted directly to your address via DHL or any courier services available in your country. Upon your contact with us, the sum of US $ 10.500,000.00 will be credited into the ATM Visa Card and this will enable you to withdraw your funds in any ATM Machines in your country with a minimum withdrawal of US $ 5000.00 per day. Your limit can be increase to any amount upon your request.
In this regards, you are to contact and furnish the requested information to the Directorate of International Payment and Transfer with the followings;
Endeavour to furnish the above information to the officers below for the issuance and delivery of your ATM Visa Card
Mr Lucky Welcome
Phone:+229 98 75 7857
We required your urgent response to this email as directed to avoid further delay.
Public Relation Officer