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:
- "activation fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- 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 MIKE IBE <"www."@eos.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: DR MIKE IBE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2018 01:40:57 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention Owner of This Email Address,
(ATM CARD)has finalize all the necessary arrangement and
your fund $4.5Million USD is inside ATM CARD UBA BANK BENIN REPUBLIC,
but this moment your
ATM CARD is in DHL OFFICE waiting for your Address were to deliver it.
so all the fee is Paid For you ( Expected )
Activation Fee.so try to ask them how much is Activation Fee immediately
you receive this Email.now try to ask them how much is activation fee of
your ATM CARD and try to ask the AtmOffice where you can send it.
Because that is one thing holding your ATM CARD to delivery to your
YOUR INFORMATION IS NEEDED:
Direct Phone Number__
Your Hone phone Number__
Contact this Email (email@example.com)
Try to call with this number TEL+229-66529457 immedately you receive
Mr.Eric Don ATM DEPARTMENT OFFICE