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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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.
- 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: "Mrs. Donna Story." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2019 17:08:54 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,,,
I have decided to get across to you through this medium irrespective of all odds since I have the mandate of my superior Mr. António Guterres as the UN Director and the World Bank President.
I was appointed to come to Cambodia in Asia by my superior Mr. António Guterres and the World Bank President to effect the release of your CASH by UNITED NATION/WORD BANK approved payment of $16,500,000.00 which has been approved to you since last year. Our intelligence reported reveals that this fund has been fluctuating off and on transit until it was intercept and returned to the US-CAMBODIA Treasury Account.
It is my pleasure to inform you that Your cash was uploaded to ATM Card Number; 5982 6210 4891 3790 have been approved in your favor. Your Personal Identification Number Code (ATM Pin Code) is 3401 and you can as well change it immediately as soon as you get the ATM Master Card. The ATM Master Card Value is US$16,500,000.00. You are advised that a maximum daily withdrawal value of US$10,000.00 is permitted per day. Your ATM Master Card is an "Inter Switch ATM Master Card", and this means that you can make withdrawal in any ATM location and ATM Center of your choice anywhere in the world. But your withdrawal limit still remains US$10,000.00, or the equivalent in your local currency.
To enable us release your ATM Master Card to you, we have concluded delivery arrangement with Tracklan Express Courier Services, because they are affiliated to one of the Largest Insurance Companies. Your ATM Master Card has been insured by the Tracklan Express Courier Services, in case of loss or theft. Please understand that these are standard procedures in order to ensure transparency.
In view of this development, you are requested to pay $180.00 to the deliver Company.
(2 DAYS ) Mailing US$180.00
Vat US$ 80.00
Kindly send your information to Tracklan Express Courier Services.
4)A copy of identification
Tracklan Express Courier Services
Name: Miss.Chi Liko
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation.
Mrs. Donna Story.