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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "@lawyer.com" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ref: SP/EU/XX951" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2009 09:26:37 +0100
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
European Union and Cooperation (Spain)
Directorate Of International
Payment And Transfer.
Debt Reconciliation/Audit Unit MAEUEC /
Sede Palacio de Santa Cruz
Plaza de la Provincia, 3
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND EUR 1.5M ONLY VIA ATM MASTER CARD OR BY CHECK
It is a pleasure to write you that we have reconciled with our logistic department on the reimbursement of some fund spent by you during the cause of your
Inadequate dealings with some impostors who claim to be staff in banks and other regional payment centers. Our reconciliation teams with the prospectus
instruments of the United Nations after freezing suspected impostors accounts. These supports was fully effective with the help of World Bank after a summit meeting in EUROPE, on the financial analysis on financial stability issues fluctuating their economy with the international global standard.
After gathering of this sum, our logistic department gave us a list of customers to be paid the sum Eur 1.5m (One million, Five hundred thousand Euros)
Who fell victims to these impostors due to unawareness And mode of payment was as well specified for proper conducts and financial regulations to kick against
Criminality during process of payment. We have arranged your payment through our swift card centers, which is the latest instruction from International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office.
The card centre will send you an ATM master card loaded with cash which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM centre, Banks and Union Pay Credit outlets
in the world, or a satisfy cheque to your mailing address You are hereby selected as an honor for this payment approval, which you are to acknowledge the receipt of this mail in returning the required below to the Bank Department. For more information Contact Barrister.Fenado Garcia Bernal Legal practitioner , Tfno/Fax:+34-632 572 471 E-mail: email@example.com
Finally; for the purpose of proper verification of your claims, it is imperative that you furnish us with the following of
your details necessary to process release/remittance of your payment:
1) YOUR FULL NAME(S).................
2) FULL ADDRESS, CITY ( FOR ATM Card or cheque DELIVERY) ................
4) COUNTRY ... .............................
3) DIRECT HOME.......................
4) MOBILE PHONE AND FAX..............
4) COMPANY NAME......................
5) POSITION AND ADDRESS (IF ANY).....
8) AGE, AND MARITAL STATUS:...............
9) A COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE:
For your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person (s) or office (s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment.
Because of Impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (ATM-7750) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the Card centre by using it as your subject.
Kindly be informed that recipients shall be liable to all cost arising for the delivery of the donation parcel. This is due to Legal law protecting all donation funds misappropriation.
Yours in Service,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
NOTICE: This E-mail (including attachments) is covered by the
Electronic Communication Privacy Acts, 18 U.S.C Sec 2510-2521, is
confidential and may be legally privileged. The information is solely
for the use of the addressee named above. If you are not the intended
recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or other use of the
contents of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have
received this E-mail in error, please notify us by return e-mail and
delete this message.