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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: FROM THE CITI BANK <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 21:26:10 +0100
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD IS READY FOR WITHDRAWAL
With respect to the foregoing business matter regarding the final release
and subsequent transfer of your approved payment valued at the sum of
$8,500,000 USD via ATM Card, I write to officially inform you that your
payment order by Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card System has been
successfully processed today and the $8,500,000 has been loaded into an ATM
Card Hence, in compliance with the Payment Procedure of the CITIBANK PLC,
you are expected to settle in full a "Processing/Shipping Fee" estimated to
the value of US$ $35 USD before final delivery of funds can be effected to
your designated address.
You are advised that a maximum withdrawal value of $20,000.00 USD is
permitted on withdrawal per day with a minimum of $1000 per withdrawal and
we are duly inter switched, meaning you can make withdrawal in any location
and ATM CARD Center of your choice. We have concluded a delivery
arrangement with DHL COURIER SERVICE, to be fully insured by Nice Insurance
Corporation. In view of this development, you are requested to immediately
offset the Courier and Insurance charges of $35 USD through the Company
given payment instruction as follows to enable the receiving company insure
and deliver the card to your address;
Your personal details are needed as well for proper delivery through DHL.
Kindly send us your full details as listed below to avoid mistake and
1. Your Full Name:
2. Contact Address:
3. Phone number:
Be informed that delivery will be made to your address in 48 hours after
our confirmation of this payment for delivery, as you know that the
delivery fee receipt will be attached on your payment delivery documents to
avoid being delayed by the customs. Please advise this office of your
preferred time of visitation for delivery and be informed that your valid
ID card must be presented to the dispatchers before release will be done.
Call the Director, ATM Payment: Dr. Michael with +229-65890960 for more
details regarding the shipment of your ATM Card. You have to stop any
further communication with anybody or office for you to receive your own
ATM Card without any further delays. If you will follow my sincere advice I
will urge you to contact them immediately to make things less complicated
Dr. Michael. CITIBANK.