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:
- "demurrage " (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. )
- "million 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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Johnson Tony" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:53:12 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: CONTACTING THE ATM CARD CENTER FOR YOUR PAYMENT
Attention: Dear Customer.
How are you? hope all is well with you and your family.I know that yo
might have forgotten about this your outstanding fund due to our mistake
to delay the delivery up till now.I am writing to inform you that your
file was found in our office today and we discovered that your cheque of
$45Million united state dollars have not been sent to you as it was
nstructed by our late boss Mrs. Victoria Linda.
We are very sorry for the mistake and the delay, please bear with us
because the fault is from our former secretary who did not complete the
instruction giving by our Boss.Note My dear, that your cheque has been
convert into Master ATM Card to free it from Expiring. This is to tell
you that the arrangement to deliver to you the $4.5 Million in ATM CARD is
Now Your ATM CARD is well packaged with every legal documents to cover it
form not having any problem with any Office Authority or with your
Federal Government and we have deposit your ATM Card with the conclusion
to deliver it to your home as soon as you contact them with you current
1. Your Full name,________________
2. Your home Address,______________
3. Your current telephone number,______
4. A copy of your picture,_____________
5. Your age/sex,____________________
6. Your country,____________________
7. Your occupation,__________________
For your Information, We have paid for the delivery charges.but did not
paid the security keeping charge due to the fact that we did not know
when you will contact them, Therefore you should please contact them now
to avoid additional cost of demurrage , after 3days, it should be counting
on demurrage.Therefore you should contact them immediately to avoid paying
any demurrage or keeping fees to them ok, I deposited it Yesterday. My
dear,you should contact the ATM Center Director on this below
E-mail. (email@example.com)Contact Person; Rev .Mr Gaburel
HenrryTele Phone Number; +229 99 44 17
SHAME ON YOU FOR THIS
Thanks and God Bless You.