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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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: "Dr. John Michael Owen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2021 17:18:28 +0100
Subject: ROYAL BANK NOTIFICATION
>From the Desk of Dr. John Michael Owen
Director, Credit Control and ATM-Card
Pay Master Royal Bank
Telephone: +1 (641) 326 5554
Reference code Number:(ATM:313)
As I informed you that we have proceeded for the issuance arrangements
of the ATM Swift card, in accordance with the provision act of decree
114 of the 1999 constitution, and considering the fact that your payment
verification and confirmations corresponds with the one in our file,
therefore, we proceeds and have finalized every arrangements in respect
of the ATM Card.
It is our pleasure to inform you that ATM Card Number; 8531 0540 1145 3448
has been approved and upgraded in your favor. Your Secret PIN Number is 8818
will come with the ATM Card Value $12,000,000.00 Twelve Million United States
Dollars Only. You are advised that a maximum withdrawal value of $10,000 USD
is permitted on withdrawal per day. We are duly inter-switched; therefore you
can make withdrawal in any location of ATM Center and cash point of your choice.
We have concluded delivery arrangement with Federal Government Delivery
Services, and we were made to understand that the ATM Card will be fully
insured by Nicon Insurance Corporation. So in view of this development,
you are requested to immediately offset the Courier and Insurance charges
of $50 Google Play Card and also provide the following information.
1) YOUR FULL NAME:
2) ADDRESS,CITY,STATE AND COUNTRY.
3) PHONE,FAX AND MOBILE
6) PROFESSION,AGE AND MARITAL STATUS
7) COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE
4) COMPANY NAME(IF ANY) POSITION AND ADDRESS
Send the Google Play Card Photo and Number to this office for further
action, and be informed that delivery will be made to your address, within
48hours after our confirmation of this $50 Google Play payment for insurance
and delivery. Note that your valid ID card must be presented to the courier
agent before release will be done. Awaiting your urgent compliance to our
Dr. John Michael Owen
Director, Credit Control
and ATM-Card Pay Master