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:
- "insurance fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Ban Ki-moon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2017 00:46:33 -0400
Subject: Attention: Email ID Owner
Attention: Email ID Owner
The IMF is compensating all the scam victims and your email address was found as one of the Victims. We have concluded to affect your own payment through ATM VISA CARD $5,000 twice daily until the total sum of $2.5M is completely paid to you.
We now need your information as to where we will be delivering your ATM VISA CARD, such as; Receivers name, address and phone number. NOTE that once you send your full information to Mark James then he will deliver your ATM VISA CARD to your home address immediately. Now contact DHL EXPRESS with this Email:( email@example.com ) Office Number:+2348022734994 Forward your full information to this Email Address and call us immediately you receive this notice. Noted that their security and Insurance fee has been paid expect their delivery fee of $189.00 which I did not pay because they refuse and said that it will be pay by you the beneficiary upon your response, Please don't be deceive by any body. I register your ATM Visa Card with Code of 8060, please indicate this Code when contacting DHL Express today.
Thanks and God bless,
Dr. Ban Ki-moon