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:
- 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:
- "atm card department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million us 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)
- 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: Edward Patrice <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2019 11:13:02 +0300
Subject: Greeting to you
Greeting to you
This is to inform you that an ATM Card worth $7.2 Million US Dollars
has been accredited by the Federal Government of Benin republic with
Federal Government of Nigeria as Fund Compensation currently approved
in your favor. You are receiving this email message as a result of the
FBI working closely with the Federal Government of Benin with Federal
Government of Nigeria and also the World Bank in order to fully
compensate victims that have had problems in receiving their funds or
lost Funds in the process. Your name is among the list of
beneficiaries for the above payment which was just recently approved
in your favor.
Pleases send your information bellow for the delivery of your ATM Card.
Your full Nameâ¦â¦â¦â¦..
CONTACT Mr.Robert Anderson ATM OFFICER BENIN:Email
Office Tel phone: +22967780579 Shall be waiting for your positive
respond as soon as possible so that your ATM VISA Card will send to
you immediately without time wasted.
Head; Director, Foreign Operations
ATM Card Department