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:
- "clearance 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. )
- "security keeping 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. )
- "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 of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2018 00:22:35 +0200
Subject: CONTACT MR DAVID WILLIAM SAWYER FOR YOUR ATM CARD IMMEDIATELY.
(UNITED STATE OF AMERICA (STATE OF PEACE)
In respect of your long over-due fund which you have been finding it
difficult to receive through a Bank Draft, Bank to Bank Wire Transfer and
Installment Payment arrangements. A meeting was held last weekend at our
Office as to the problem surrounding the Remittance of your fund, and after
all deliberation, the Panel Agreement was to load your fund into a worldwide
accessible ATM Visa Card.
We have waited for you to get in contact with us for your ATM Visa Card
worth the total sum of $1,500.000.00. (One Million, Five hundred Thousand
United State Dollars), Which you can withdraw your Fund at any ATM Machine
in your location Worldwide, with maximum daily limit amount of USD$15,000.00
(Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars) Hence you are willing to claim your
Note that the delivery charges of your ATM VISA CARD has already being paid,
Apart from the Security Keeping Fee and insurance clearance, which is to be
paid due to your delay in contacting this office for claim of your ATM VISA
CARD Winning Fund.
The Security Keeping Fee, together with the Insurance clearance Fee total
amount is US$350 and this is the only charges you are Authorized to Pay as
there is no Hidden charges require for any reason, to have your ATM VISA
CARD completely insured and delivered to your residential address for daily
withdrawal. All you need to do is to contact our payment Security Department
in United State for details and guidelines on how to submit your Fees so as
to facilitate the immediate release of your ATM VISA CARD for immediate
delivery to you.
Contact person is Mr David Sawyer, directly for Guidelines on how to Submit
your Security Keeping Fees of $350 and commence Delivery of your ATM VISA
CARD Winning Fund.
Name: Mr David Sawyer
Kindly re-confirm your details to him for verification, and make sure your
residential address is provided correctly, to avoid any atom of mistake
during delivery process of your ATM VISA CARD, so as to facilitate the
immediate release of your ATM CARD immediately as soon as you comply with
(1) Your Full Name ..................
(2) Full Residential Address.............(P.O.BOX NOT ALLOWED)
(3) Direct and Current Phone ...........
(4) Nationality ..........................
(5) Present Country ................
As soon as your details are submitted, you shall be advised accordingly by
our security department officer Mr David Sawyer. Our ATM CODE of conduct is
(ATM 101 ). Make sure you specify this Code on your subject when Contacting
our Security Department (Mr David Sawyer) for delivery of your ATM VISA CARD.
Your Safety is 100% Guaranteed.
Thanks for your maximum co-operation.
Dr. Jim Yong Kim
ATM PAYMENT DIRECTOR