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:
- ",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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. MAX HANSEN" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 22:27:27 -0800
Subject: COMPENSATION PAYMENT OF YOUR FUND
This is to inform you that we have been working towards the
eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Africa with the help of
the Organization of African Unity (OAU) United Nations (UN), European
Union (EU) and FBI.
We have been able to track down some scam artists in various parts of
African countries which includes (Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana
and Senegal with cote d'ivoire ) and they are all in Government
custody now, they will appear at International Criminal Court (ICC)
soon for Justice.
During the course of investigation, they were able to recover some
funds from these scam artists and IMF organizations have ordered the
funds recovered to be shared among the 10 Lucky people listed around
the World as compensation. This notice has been directed to you
because your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file
and computer hard-disk while the investigation, maybe you have been
scammed. You are therefore being compensated with a sum of
$10,000,000.00 US Dollars
Since your email address is among the lucky beneficiaries who will
receive a compensation funds, we have arranged your payment to be paid
to you through ATM MASTER CARD and deliver to your postal address with
the Pin Numbers as to enable you withdrawal maximum of $7,000.00 on
each withdrawal from any Bank ATM Machine of your choice, until all
the funds are exhausted.
The ATM Card with Security Pin Numbers shall be delivered to you via
courier Service, depending your choice.In order to proceed with this
transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge ( Dr
Max Hansen ) via e-mail. Kindly look below to find appropriate contact
CONTACT AGENT NAME: DR MAX HANSEN
CONTACT EMAIL BELOW (firstname.lastname@example.org )
You will be required to e-mail him with the following information:
DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER:....
We advise you to stop all communications with everyone regarding your
payment as we have shortlisted you to deliver to you and now urgent
you to comply and receive your ATM Card funds.
Thanks for your understanding as you follow instructions while I wait
to hear from you today.
Yours in Services
Dr Max Hansen