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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Mrs Mary Steve" <email@example.com>
Date: 2 Feb 2020 01:03:14 -0800
Subject: Re: Your ATM Card
This is to inform you of your long overdue outstanding Payment in
our records. We saw your email address in our Central Computer
unit among the list of unpaid inheritance claims individuals and
have to update your information's through this email contact for
Your email appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a
part-payment of their overdue fund, Credited to Online Bank ATM
Card account that was set up for you and it has been approved
already months ago.
However, we received an email from one (Mrs.Judith McCree) who
told us that she is your next of kin and that you died in a car
accident last four months.
She has also submitted her contact information's to the office
department for the delivery of your ATM Card to her as your
inheritor. We are now verifying by contacting your email address
as we have in our records before we can make the delivery to her
and for us to conclude confirmation if you are dead or not.
Please, confirm response immediately to us before we release your
ATM Card to her against your name listed out. Upon this, I
request you send your full personal information as soon as
possible to Atm Counsellor Office to enable them to finalize with
the delivery of your ATM Card to you.
Your Full Names: _____________
Contact Address: _____________
Mobile Phone: _____________
In order to resolve this problem, Please contact (Atm Counsellor
Office) immediately for the delivery of your ATM Card via their
Contact Person: Martins Jones
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation
Mrs Mary Steve