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:
- "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)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Platinum Card <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 04:47:47 +0100
We write to notify you that we have been working towards the eradication
of fraudsters and scam Artists in Africa with the help of the
Organization of African Unity (OAU) United Nations (UN), European Union
(EU) and FBI.
We have been able to track down some scam artist in various parts of
African countries and they are all in Government custody now, they will
appear at International Criminal Court (ICC) soon for Justice.
During the course of investigation, they were able to recovered some
funds from these scam artists and IMF organization have ordered the
funds recovered to be shared among the 10 Lucky people listed around the
World as a compensation. This notice is been directed to you because
your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file and
computer hard-disk while the investigation, maybe you have been scammed.
You are therefore being compensated with sum of (USD$4,000.000.00) Four
Million United State Dollars, valid into an (ATM Card Number 1410 7706
Since your email address is among the lucky beneficiaries who will
receive a compensation funds, we have arranged your payment to be paid
to you through ATM VISA CARD and deliver to your postal address with the
Pin Numbers as to enable you withdrawal maximum of $5,000 on each
withdrawal from any Bank ATM Machine of your choice, until all the funds
The ATM Card with Security Pin Numbers shall be delivered to you via
courier Service, depending your choice.
In order to proceed with this transaction, you will be required to
contact the agent in-charge ( Pastor Victor Greene ) via e-mail:
Kindly look below to find appropriate contact information:
CONTACT AGENT NAME: Pastor Victor Greene
PHONE NUMBER:+233 2349 84962
You will be required to e-mail him with the following information:
FULL NAME:., ADDRESS:., COUNTRY:., DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER:.,
We advice you to stop all the communications with everyone regarding
your payment as we have short listed to deliver to you and now urge you
to comply and receive your ATM Card funds.
Thanks for your understanding as you follow instructions while I wait to
hear from you today.
Yours in Services