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:
- "your payment is being processed" (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)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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: "DR EMMA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 10:27:56 +0100
Subject: YOUR FUNDS $12.5M USD ATM CARD
INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT CORPORATE
HEAD QUARTERS TINUBU SQUARE,
Our Ref: CBN/IRD/CGX/NNPC/021/06
During the Third Quarter Payment Schedule of the financial records of the
Bank of BENIN (BN) it was discovered from the records of outstanding
Foreign contractors due for payment with the Federal Government of BENIN
that your name is next on the list of Those who will receive their fund. I
wish to officially notify you that your payment is being processed and
will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter.Also once we
receive the information's from you for the President of Federal Government
of BENIN will Approve it to enable us release the fund to your account.
Note that from the record in our file, your outstanding contract payment
is US D$12.5 M.
re-confirm the information below to enable this office Proceed and
finalize your fund remittance without further delays.
1) Your full name.
2) Phone, fax and mobile #
3) Company name, position and address.
4) Profession, age and marital status.
As soon as the above information are received, your payment will be Made
available to you via (ATM MASTER CARD), which will be delivered to your
doorstep for your confirmation. As soon as you receive this letter for
further Discussion.We will give you the atm pin code(4) number to use
withdraw as soon as it arrive in your house.
and more clarification contact me via this email:(email@example.com)
DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE