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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Geoffery Onyeama " <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2016 12:19:42 -0700
Subject: ATM CARD
I am Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister Of Foreign Affairs. During the
auditing of all financial records in my office, i was very annoyed
when i found out that your payment
Has been approved already for months and you have not received your
fund yet. I have been informed that you are still dealing with none
officials in the bank all your
Attempt to secure the release of the fund to you. We advised that such
an illegal act have to stop if you really wish to receive your
We have decided to bring a solution to your problem, Right now, we
have arranged your payment through ATM Card which is the latest
instruction from Mr. 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 favor.
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$15,000.00 only is
Permitted daily. As the only cost you would be required to pay is for
insurance of $130 and you can make withdrawal in any location of the
ATM Center of your
Choice/nearest to you anywhere in your state/country.
Country AND City:
Cell Phone Numbers
Age AND Sex:
A Scan Copy of your Identity:
I wait to hear from you soon.
Geoffrey Onyeama, CFR
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nigeria.