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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",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)
- "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 company" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- position: director delivery department email: firstname.lastname@example.org private email: email@example.com (Webmail, South Africa; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Barbara Morrison" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2021 11:41:14 +0200
Subject: YOUR ATM VISA CARD WORTH US$2.5 MILLION DOLLARS IS READY FOR DELIVERY.
Greeting to your family
YOUR ATM VISA CARD IS READY FOR COLLECTION:
I am happy to inform you that your long awaited Inheritance/Lottery
fund amount of (US$2,500,000.00) Two Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars has been credited into an international ATM Visa
Card, which you can use to withdraw your funds in any Automated Teller
Machine (ATM) cash point worldwide with maximum withdrawal of
US$5,000.00 Dollars per a day until the total amount in the ATM card
is fully withdrawn.
I have waited for you to contact me regarding the ATM Card but did not
hear from you so I went and registered the ATM CARD with Intel Express
Courier Company, Johannesburg South Africa for onward delivery to you
as I traveled out of the country for a short Course and will only come
back to office by end of year 2021. You are to contact the Intel
Express Courier Company as quickly as possible and confirm when they
will be delivering the package/ATM Card to you because of the expiring
Furthermore, I have paid for the Delivery & Insurance Fees of the ATM
CARD. The only fee you will be required to pay to the Courier Company
to deliver the ATM CARD directly to your Postal Address in your
country is (US$185.00) only, being their Security Keeping Fee. I would
have paid the Security Keeping Fee to the Intel Express Courier
Company but they said NO because they don't know when you will contact
them in case of demurrals. You have to contact the Intel Express
Courier Company immediately for the delivery of the ATM CARD to you.
Contact the courier Company on the below information:
INTEL EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY
Contact Person: Mr. William Jackson
Position: Director Delivery Department
Private Email: email@example.com
Telephone: +27 71 466 4282
Fax Number: +27 86 601 1421
To ensure accurate delivery, we advised that you re-confirm to them
the following details:
1. Full Names:
2. Country of Origin:
3. Receiving Address:
4. Direct Telephone Number:
7. Copy of your International Passport or ID card:
Contact the Courier Company as soon as you have received this massage
to avoid further delay that could lead to cancellation of the ATM
Card. Like I said, you are to pay them their Security Keeping Fee of
$185.00 before the ATM Card will be delivered to you, which is
mandatory. As a security measure, please ensure to quote this
Identification Security Code: (IEC-ATM/SA25021) on message subject in
your correspondence with the above office so that they can locate your
Package easily and commence delivery.
Mrs. Barbara Morrison
(Acting Manager First National Bank of South Africa (FNB)