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:
- 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:
- "you are required to pay " (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. )
- "million 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Thomas Green<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 26 Jun 2018 09:20:17 -0300
Subject: <p>RE: Your Swift ATM Credit Card $4.6,000,000.00 Million Dollars.</p>
<p>RE: Your Swift ATM Credit Card $4.6,000,000.00 Million
<p>You Might Be Very Verse With The Swift Credit Card System
Through The (A.T.M) Automated Teller Machine System That Allows
Beneficiary Direct Access To Make Withdrawal Of Fund From Any
International Banks In The World. The Federal Government Under
The Ministry Of Finance With The World Bank And IMF(International
Monitory Fund) Has Adopted This</p>
<p>Administrative Measure Owing To Various Complains/Petitions
Received From Beneficiaries Owning To The Delays In Receiving
Their Contract/Inheritance Fund As Expected. Please be informed
that this is real and not a bogus card so be rest assured that
the money will be cleared immediately a withdrawal is affected. I
have made all the necessary</p>
<p>Arrangements to have card delivered to you at your nominated
mailing address. All other documents such as your recommendation
letter and certificate from the Economic Finance Unit confirming
that these funds are fully free of any liens or encumbrances and
are clean, clear and of non-criminal origin.</p>
<p>This ATM Card Contains Maximum Of $4.6 Million Dollars. And
you have a daily withdrawal limit of $5,000 Dollars.For your
information, you are to bear the cost of mailing the ATM to you,
the ATM Card will be mailed via a World Delivery Service to
ensure that card is delivered to you wherever you are anywhere in
the world, However, before I proceed, I would like you to re-
confirm the below details. The Receiving officer Mrs.Mr.Nicolas
Brent will call you up immediately response is sent in.</p>
<p>1. Legal Full names:<br />
2. Telephone number:<br />
3. Delivery address:<br />
4. Occupation:<br />
5. Nearest Airport<br />
6. Country of Residence</p>
<p>Please Choose The Options, Together With Their Associated
Shipping Cost Conditions Are Presented below and also you Are
Required To Pay The Necessary Courier Charges To Enable us Send
You Your Parcel to you at your doorstep.</p>
<p>1. FedEx Delivery Company Duration fee... 72 Hours....
<p>2. UPS Delivery Company Duration fee..... Next day....
<p>3. DHL Delivery Company Duration fee... 24
Contact:Mr.Nicolas Brent<br />
<p>Thanks for Your Co-Operation.</p>
<p>Best Regards,<br />
Mr. Thomas Green.<br />
Remittance Manager<br />
Barclays Bank Plc.</p>