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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Barr.Juliet Adams" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 May 2021 14:19:59 -0700
Subject: IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$10. MILLION ONLY VIA ATM VISA CARD.
UN/BKL/STB IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$10. MILLION ONLY VIA ATM VISA
CARD.Dear Friend,We wish to inform you that your payment of USD$10Million
from the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been released and ready to be
paid to you via ATM VISA CARD which you will use to withdraw the
US$10Million from any ATM Machine in any part of the world.We have mandated
the Access Bank Nigeria Plc, to issue an ATM VISA CARD and PIN# which you
will use to withdraw the fund from any ATM machine in any part of the world
but the maximum amount you can withdraw per day is US$20,000.00. You are
strongly advice immediately to contact MR. VICTOR ETUKWU the Manager of
Access Bank Nigeria Plc via his email address: Official
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>Private
emails: firstname.lastname@example.org and send him your information such
as;1) Your Full Name. *
*2) Your Contact Address. *
*3) Your Cell Phone Number. 4)Occupation and Age. The ATM VISA CARD
approval in your name has been sent to MR. VICTOR ETUKWU and he is waiting
for your above information to enable him process and send you the CARD and
PIN number without any delay. So make sure you contact him right now with
your information and tell him that you received a message from the UNITED
NATION, Instructing you to contact him for immediate release of your fund
via ATM VISA CARD.Contact FBI via this email: Reports@ci.fbi.gov if you did
not receive this ATM VISA CARD after 72hours you contacted him. You are
warned to disregard other contact or any communication you have with other
offices.Please we are very sorry for the plight you have gone through in
the past. Thanks for adhering to this instruction and once again accept out
congratulations!Yours Sincerely,Mrs. Barr.Juliet AdamsPublic Information