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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: RICA PAY OUT<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2018 15:01:19 -0700
Subject: RICA ATM PAYOUT
Good day to you.
This is to officially inform you that we have written to you before
without getting respond from you and we believe that our previous mail
did not get to you therefore we write you again. We are contacting you
concerning the release of your RICA fund / Draft /Cheque /ATM Card
which have been delayed for transfer by some officials who claim to be
in position of your fund thereby extorting money from you in one way
or the other.
Your Fund has finally been approved for transfer. Your fund will be transfe=
r to you via MasterCard
ATM which is cashable in any ATM machine or Bank anywhere in the world.
We hereby inform you that the ATM card worth (=A3250,000.00)two hundred and=
fifty thousand British Pounds has been
credited in your favor as the first part payment of your RICA fund
which has been delayed by these officers who claim to be in position
of your fund.
Therefore you are warned to stop any further communication with
anybody concerning your RICA fund.
Your fund to be released via MasterCard ATM in act to uphold the rule
of law which we represent. You have to reconfirm the information below
for security reasons. The only PAYMENT you are obliged to pay is the Courie=
delivery charges only which is $360 united state dollars
Contact the verification officer in charge of the delivery:
Name : Smith Hughes
E-mail : email@example.com
Tell/WhatsApp no : +447781514140
Send him the following information of yours for the conclusion of
your ATM Card:
Mr. O. M. Jonathan
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.