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.
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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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Freddy Hermann" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr. Freddy Hermann" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 May 2019 11:29:34 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear Fund Beneficiary, YOUR ATM CARD.
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
This is to notify you concerning your abandoned ATM Visa Card valued sum of US$10.5 Million and i have not received any positive respond from you or making a suggestion on how you wish to receive your ATM Card. Once again; I am Mr. Freddy Hermann the new director ATM Head of Operation United Bank For Africa PLC, I resumed to this office on the 10th of January 2019 and during my official research I discovered an abandoned ATM Visa Card valued sum of $10.5 Million belonging to you as the rightfully intimate beneficiary.
I tried to know why this card has not been released to you but I was told by the UBA Bank management that the former director ATM head of operation who left this office two months ago withhold your card for his own personal use without knowing that his evil plans towards diverting your fund will be discovered.
Now that your ATM Visa card is still available and ready for your receiving, therefore you can come down here to our bank to pick up your card direct from my office or alternatively it can be arranged ship to your address through any registered reliable courier service company that you will take care of the courier charge, hope it is cleared and accepted by you?
I donât know the courier cost of shipping the card to you but if you permit me and accept the terms, then I can make an inquiry from the courier shipping company to find out the cost, but in that case you will be required to forward to me your address where you want to receive the card to enable me find out the shipping cost to your location.
Reconfirmation of your Full Name, Direct Telephone Number, Home Address, Your Occupation, Your Religion and Scan Copy of your ID will be needed and more details of your ATM CARD payment will be made known to you as soon as I receive your swift positive response.
Thanks for your co-operation as i wait your prompt response.
Mr. Freddy Hermann