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 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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Richard Martins" <autoshop-takATMashi.@luck.ocn.ne.jp>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2016 05:39:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Notification of payment by ATM Master Credit Card
Notification of payment by ATM Master Credit Card
We hereby officially notifying you about the present arrangement to pay you,
your over due Winning Prize/inheritance fund which you could not complete
the process of the released of your transfer pin code through the Digitized
Payment System. We have decided to pay your funds through (ATM Master
Express Credit Card) This arrangement was initiated/constituted by the World
Bank, United Nation and Paris Club, due to fraudulent activities going on
within the world.
The World Bank, United Nations and Paris Club introduced this payment
arrangement as to enable our Contract ,Winning Prize,inheritance beneficiary
to receive their fund without any interference. the ATM Master Express
Credit Card was contracted and powered by GOLD CARD WORLD WIDE.
The ATM MASTER EXPRESS CARD is credited with the sum of$5,500.000.00
USD(Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars), it is already
loaded in the Master Card which you can use to access your fund in any ATM
Stand/location worldwide and remember that the maximum withdrawal daily
limit is Ten Thousand United States Dollars(US$10,000.00)we have concluded
delivery arrangement with the below courier services companies and their
delivery time is stated below.
Kindly provide me with the below details in your response to this email and
let me know which courier company you would want us to use for the shipment
of your ATM Card to you.
1. Valid Delivery Address:
2. Full Names:
3. Phone Number:
Understand that you will be liable for the delivery fee of your ATM Master
Express Card to you with any of the above courier company.
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
Director Foreign Remittance Department
Fidelity Bank Benin Plc